Facebook has launched a new service called Rooms, which it describes as a way for people with common interests to link up by creating their own spaces, or Rooms, and eventually their own communities.
Rooms are basically a "forum, a scrap book, or virtual social club" where people can come together and share photos, documents and other items.
"One of the magical things about the early days of the web was connecting to people who you would never encounter otherwise in your daily life," Facebook said in a blog post introducing Rooms.
"Forums, message boards and chatrooms were meeting places for people who didn't necessarily share geographies or social connections, but had something in common. Places where what you said mattered more than who you were and whom you knew.
"Inspired by the ethos of these early web communities and the capabilities of modern smartphones, Rooms lets you create places for the things you're into, and invite others who are into them too."
Facebook Rooms is now available to download from iTunes, and users can tweak the look and feel of their Room and create permissions for joining, posting and linking.
Facebook has worked on Rooms with a set of community builders, but is interested in seeing work done by other parties. The company acknowledged that building up communities will take time.
"Our initial focus is on working closely with a small set of community builders. From talking with founders of successful communities, we've learned that many of the most successful communities on the internet grew very slowly," the firm said.
"If you think your Room has the potential to be one of those, we'd love to figure out how we can help. We're committed to helping you succeed."
Rooms is currently available in the UK on iOS and Apple devices, but the firm expects to roll it out further. Facebook credentials are not needed to take on a Room, and Facebook is not linking Rooms to its social networking data.
People will also be able to use nicknames or pseudonyms in Rooms, which are invitation-only.