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Is Facebook anonymous app a bad dream?

I woke up this morning and dreamed that Facebook was allowing people to post anonymously.

Unfortunately this bad dream might come true.


The word is that Facebook will soon be offering a standalone app which will allow users to anonymously interact with each other,from within Facebook,according to the New York Times who say the new app will allow people to use pseudonyms so that they can discuss more sensitive topics without using their real names.


Zuckerberg, while being extremely aware of Facebook’s reputation for devouring and using it’s audience’s information for marketing purposes, may be looking at being all things to all men and keeping his audience of 1.3 billion happy by offering both, a real identity platform with Facebook and an anonymous platform for gossip with the new app.


Why I feel it’s a bad move for Facebook.

Only last Wednesday, Facebook’s CPO Chris Cox in defence of the ‘real names’ policy said ‘First, it’s part of what made Facebook special in the first place, by differentiating the service from the rest of the Internet where pseudonymity, anonymity, or often random names were the social norm. Second, it’s the primary mechanism we have to protect millions of people every day, all around the world, from real harm.’


So does’nt this new app contradict Facebook’s whole ethos of using real names and identities?  Kind of.


Who is the audience for this app?. If it’s adults fine but for kids this yet again opens up a whole new ballgame. There will be an element of users who will mis-use this type of app.  Because they can – they will. Of course Facebook has to stay ahead of the game but how will they manage this when they, as well as other platforms, are struggling to curb cyberbullying, trolling, exploitation opportunists and misuse on their existing real identity platform?


Facebook want to keep and increase their market share and meet the increasing demand for anonymity. Fair enough. But with the market already flooded with a number of apps offering these features do they really need to go down this route?. Why not just keep on acquiring them (they’re successful at this) as they’ve done with Instagram and WhatsApp rather than integrating an app into Facebook?.


The other big question is, some sources report this app will be standalone. Others that it will be ‘inside Facebook’. Just how linked will it be to Facebook and will Facebook be able to use or match information given by anonymous users on the app to the real identity users information already on Facebook.  And would we ever know if they did?. So is Facebook anonymous app a bad dream? We’ll have to wait and see.
Posted By Wayne Denner

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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