Facebook Reportedly Planning An App Where Nobody Knows Your Name

At the moment where you might be suffering from Facebook fatigue — knowing that that girl from your biology class in high school has a craving for froyo gets exhausting — the social media company is reportedly planning a mobile app that’d be separate from Facebook, and would allow users to interact under pseudonyms. That way you’ll know when a stranger has a craving for froyo instead. Much more interesting.

According to the New York Times’ Bits Blog, which cites two insiders on the project, the new app is expected to be released soon.

It’s a step in the opposite direction for Facebook’s usual mission to get everyone to basically live their lives on the site with as many identifying characteristics as possible. Anyone else get sick of Facebook begging to know my favorite sports teams? Enough already.

“It’s part of what made Facebook special in the first place,” Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, said in a recent post. “By differentiating the service from the rest of the internet where pseudonymity, anonymity, or often random names were the social norm.”

That was in response to issues of identity raised by transgendered people who campaigned against Facebook’s need for people to use their “real names,” a policy Facebook subsequently apologized for.

It seems that instead of continuing to insist on that “real” online identity, Facebook is willing to dip its toes in anonymous waters if that’s what people want.

So how would it work? Facebook users would be able to have multiple screennames to talk about a variety of topics, things they might not want to talk about using their own names. It sounds sort of like one big comment board, actually, or um, Reddit.

It’s unclear if there will be photos, status updates or other things traditional Facebook has, or how people will find/make friends. Although who’s going to post a photo of their baby so anonymous people can comment on his first experience with chocolate pudding/the petting zoo/a cardboard box? It’s a risky proposition, and there aren’t details so far on how Facebook would protect users from the inevitable trolls that come with anonymity.

Facebook Developing App That Allows Anonymity [Bits Blog]

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