From transparency to anonymity.
Facebook is reportedly planning to launch a stand-alone mobile application that will allow users to communicate with each other without using their real names, sources told the New York Times. The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the app is launching in the coming weeks.
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If the rumor is true, the move will be a stark contrast to Facebook's strict adherence to online transparency. The New York Times added that the top secret project is being led by a certain Josh Miller who is a product manager at Facebook.
Prior to joining Facebook, Miller founded the online discussion startup Branch. Facebook acquired Branch earlier this year. The Branch team, sources said, have been working on the mobile app.
By launching an app for anonymous online conversations, Facebook is copying Secret's playbook. The idea here is to promote open discussions on sensitive topics that others are not comfortable talking about. Such app could even be useful in discussing health-related problems.
The latter corroborates earlier reports that Facebook is working on a healthcare tool that will connect users to support communities. We noted that the biggest hurdle to the tool is privacy. An anonymous mobile app perfectly solves the problem.
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