Facebook Reportedly Working On Anonymous Sharing App
Anonymity has long been an important aspect of the Internet. Over the years, most online services have allowed users to sign up pseudonymously. But when Facebook came along, it differentiated itself as place to truly be yourself online—by mapping out your relationships, sharing with people you know in real life, and—of course—using your real name.
But a report by the New York Times suggests that the company is open to alternatives.
The report says that Facebook is working on a standalone app that allows users to interact without using their real names, citing “two people briefed on Facebook’s plans.”
It’s unlikely that any such changes will come to Facebook’s main site, which now has more than a billion accounts. But it’s not surprising to see the company jump on the bandwagon, given the recent popularity of anonymous sharing apps Secret and Whisper.
Earlier this year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would allow developers to incorporate an anonymous login feature into third-party apps, which would let users try new apps while limiting what information they give them.
Facebook has struggled with identity issues lately. After weeks of protest, the company said last week that it would allow members of the LGBT community to use names that they have adopted, but are not their legal ones, to identify themselves on Facebook.
The new app will likely be useful for discussions where users may not feel comfortable using their real names, but it’s unclear how Facebook will protect users from spammers and trolls on the new service.
The app is expected to launch “in the coming weeks,” according to the report.