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Published October 30th 2014

Facebook Rooms: The New Reddit?

Facebook Rooms is an IOS app developed by Facebook which offers a platform for private, common interest based conversation. Users can create their own...

Rooms is a newly launched IOS app developed by Facebook, offering a platform for private, common interest based conversation. Users can create their own topic by creating a ‘Room’, others can then contribute to this Room with Likes and Comments.

At least, that’s how Facebook has described it.

Perhaps a better way to explain it is by comparing it to Reddit; essentially a web coffee shop where people go to discuss shared interests.

But Rooms forces you to create a different identity for each room you’re in and it offers no front page or ranking systems. Instead you’ll see a chronological feed as you would with Instagram or Twitter.

FacebookRooms

Why?

 

People enjoy talking about their favorite stuff, but nobody wants to spam their friends who aren’t interested.

As the not-so-old adage in social media goes, “Twitter is the place to talk with people you like but don’t know. Facebook is a place to talk with people you know but don’t like”.

Facebook has built Rooms to get around this – a candid discussion where users can create a unique identity for the conversation they are in.


Sounds a lot like Reddit…

 

But what’s going to convince Reddit’s 175 million monthly users to flock towards an app created by the company from which many fled?

The app is only for mobile. Chat rooms have been around for almost as long as the internet, but very few mobile apps have delivered the same experience.

Until recently Reddit didn’t even have a mobile app of its own – and even now Reddit’s app is based around consumption, not creation, with no way to create new subreddits.

collage

 

But unlike Reddit – you can’t just join any group you are interested in on Rooms. In fact, other than the ones you set up, you can only join groups if you are invited.

This barrier to entry will ensure that group growth is organic but will also act as a deterrent to early adopters who want to contribute in Rooms with the same quality and level of discussion as similar sites.


Our analysis

 

We’ve monitored the discussion surrounding Rooms since it’s launch last week and found that 60% of all mentions about the app were posted by males, which pretty much matches the amount of male Reddit users (59%).

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 4.52.15 PM

That demographic split may be exactly what Rooms is looking for, however the interests and professions of those users does not match your typical chat room contributor.

The top interest of all of these authors – with 23% – is business, and significantly the top two professions for these authors are Executives and Sales/Marketing/PR – totalling 53% of all mentions.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 4.56.58 PM

This would suggest that the hype generated by the Rooms release has resonated with companies and business-focused individuals, or at least that demographic is where the news caused the biggest ripples. These individuals are more likely interested in promoting and talking about Rooms rather than contributing and joining.

Moreover, over the last eight days fewer than 100 people have tweeted saying “join my room”, suggesting that although people are talking about the tool, few are using it yet.


Where do we stand?

 

Although the current discussion surrounding the app seems to be more reaction than action, the app does have potential to become a place for candid discussion where users can talk freely and openly about a product category or even a brand.

Valuable conversations about your brand will almost certainly happen on the site, and we won’t be surprised if we start seeing some of the more innovative brands experimenting with a presence in Rooms.

It also has plenty of scope for generating insights on what people are talking about; social listening insights that, as you should know by now, can transform the performance of any business.

How vendors such as us will fit into this latest development from Facebook remains to be seen, as the networking giant experiments with its own strategy in this area. You can rest assured that we’ll keep you all updated with any developments worth sharing, and be among the most curious to explore this faux-novel approach to online conversations.

Until then, we’ll be hanging out in this riveting Room.


 

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