Facebook introduces new public group chat feature ‘Rooms’

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According to Facebook Messenger product manager Drew Moxon, The Courrier Mail reports, the feature, which was been rolled out in Australia
and Canada over the weekend (11-13 November), is for “topic-based conversations and so people can talk with others they may not know.”

Facebook first launched a standalone app called Rooms back in October 2014, but the project was pulled with the closure of the company’s
internal R1D division, Creative Labs, in late 2015. Now, Facebook has redesigned the idea, and is rolling out the new Rooms as a feature of its
Messaging app in selected markets.

Rooms has been designed to enable Facebook Messenger users to exchange topic-based messages with a group of people, regardless if they
are Friends on the app or not. Administrators are able to approve the admission of new guests in the message feed.

Details of the feature have already been leaked this year. In September, the Rooms feature was discovered within the Messenger app’s source
code, explaining how “each room has a link that can be shared so anyone on Messenger can join the conversation.” Techcrunch confirms that
Rooms has only rolled out in Australia and Canada, with no word on when or whether other markets will see the new feature.

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