Facebook hasn’t done a lot with Instagram since it purchased the photo-sharing service back in 2012. However, just because the company hasn’t tried to change Instagram or integrate it even further into its social network, doesn’t mean the company hasn’t made use of its billion-dollar purchase.
Proof comes in the form of the Instagram-like app Facebook Creative Labs announced this week. Rooms is an app that allows users to create an individual ‘Room’ for whatever topic they’re interested in and customize various aspects (like fonts, emoji, cover photos, colours, pinned messages, member permissions, and more). They can then invite other people to share photos, text, and videos in the Room using a unique QR Code that can be shared with as many or as few people as you like.
Rooms was apparently inspired by “the ethos of these early web communities.” Facebook wants to recapture those “magical” early days of the web when forums, message boards, and chat rooms were places where you could talk with strangers about a common interest. The end result is an app that looks a lot like a Facebook/Instagram lovechild.
It’s only available to iOS users for now (just like the early days of Instagram, eh Facebook?) and there’s no desktop or web version. This experience is purely mobile. We tried to give the app a shot ourselves but it looks like it’s not available in Canada yet.