Do you remember the early days of the Internet? People would flock to various forums and anonymously discuss any topic one could image. Wanted to discuss a favorite television show? A particular video game? A type of illness or even your favorite brand of sneakers? There was likely a website and forum dedicated to the topic.
It was also a great way for marketers to anonymously spread the word about their new and upcoming products as well. In one of my interviews over at Game Academy Radio with the founders of Introversion Software (Uplink, Prison Architect), they mentioned that in the beginning days of the studio, they would create threads on various video game forums telling people to play a new game called Uplink (i.e. their own game). Everyone did this back then, and while forums are not dead, they’re a shell of their formers selves.
Social media have essentially replaced the role of forums, but the idea of discussing a topic anonymously isn’t dead. Facebook Creative Labs thinks the same, which is why they have announced Rooms.
“Inspired by both the ethos of these early web communities and the capabilities of modern smartphones, today we’re announcing Rooms, the latest app from Facebook Creative Labs,” reads Creative Lab’s post (sourced below). “Rooms lets you create places for the things you’re into, and invite others who are into them.”
What is Rooms (and more importantly, why should you care – more on that in a moment)? The blog post explains this:
“A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text – not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook – with a topic determined by whoever created the room,” reads the blog post (again, linked below in the source). “Not only are rooms dedicated to whatever you want, room creators can also control almost everything else about them. Rooms is designed to be a flexible, creative tool.”
And it could be an awesome marketing tool as well.
It doesn’t have a large userbase at the moment, but it has the potential to grow and become one of the next big social apps. Add to the fact that you only have to sign into Facebook to use the app, and most people are already halfway there to using Rooms. Keep an eye on this one indie developers, because if Rooms blows up? It’s going to be a great way to market your brand.
So far, only a few ‘rooms’ are being implemented into Rooms. Still, an indie-focused room can’t be that far off, and again, if the app grows quickly, more people are going to be using the platform, resulting in another avenue for promoting anything your indie studio is working on. It could also be a place where indie developers obtain good, honest feedback due to the fact that people remain anonymous on Rooms.
Keep an eye out on this one folks: if Rooms’ userbase grows, you need to be an early adopter because the potential to market your games is huge!