Facebook Messenger Rooms Feature Coming Soon? Here’s What Clues In Messenger’s iOS Source Code Reveal
Facebook has an unreleased feature named Rooms hidden in its source code, according to a report by Technicalmania.
The feature allows groups of users to publicly chat on a specific topic or event, with the source code of the iOS version of Messenger revealing multiple references to Rooms and its functions.
“Rooms are for public conversations about topics and interests. Each room has a link that can be shared so anyone on Messenger can join the conversation,” the hidden source code stated, and it seems that users will be able to start their own Rooms.
The code was tipped to Technicalmania by Chris Messina, with the news outlet then requesting for comment from Facebook. The social network initially said that it did not have any comments on the speculation, but after the screenshots of the discovered code were shown, Facebook said that it often runs small tests, with nothing more to share.
Technicalmania was later on able to acquire screenshots of the Rooms feature from one of its readers, with the screenshots showing how users are able to join Rooms and chat using the features and interface of Messenger. The screenshots also show how users can manage Rooms and share a link to the Room to make it easier for other users to join.
If the functionality of the unreleased Messenger feature looks familiar, it is because it is similar to the standalone app of the same name which Facebook launched back in 2014. The Rooms app allowed users to talk to others who share the same interests as them but in complete anonymity.
Product manager Josh Miller claimed that the platform is a nod to the early days of the internet, when users hid behind pseudonyms while joining in the conversation in public chat rooms for their favorite topics.
However, Rooms did not gain much traction, and Facebook decided to shut it down alongside the Slingshot and Riff apps in late 2015. The apps were built by Facebook’s Creative Labs, an internal team within the company that was closed after two years because none of the 10 apps that it was able to develop became a big hit.
Will Facebook soon release the Rooms feature for Messenger? That could not yet be determined, as the company has refused to reveal such information. However, if the feature does indeed arrive, it could serve as a middle ground between the public comments made by users on their News Feed and the private messages that users send to their friends on the social network.