Facebook Might Provide Anonymity to Users Similar to ‘Secret’ And 'Whisper'
By Pavithra Rathinavel | April 9, 2014 1:08 PM EST
With the growing popularity of anonymous social apps like "Secret" and "Whisper," Facebook seeks to provide anonymity to its users.
A smartphone user shows the Facebook application on his phone in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, in this file photo illustration from May 2, 2013.
For those unfamiliar with these social apps, these services let users anonymously share data among strangers without having to disclose their true identities.
According to reports, Facebook is mulling the idea of developing its own anonymity service. Early rumors said the social networking giant plans to buy "Secret" for $100 million. But there is no official confirmation regarding this news.
Anonymity is opposite to how Facebook currently operates. Users are encouraged to take real names, real profile and photos. For the anonymity service, Facebook might want to let the users keep their identity a secret.
But the marriage between Facebook and Secret sounds uncertain. Facebook can take a leaf or two from Secret to create its own Secret-like service.
The main advantage of the anonymity apps like Secret is that it gives users complete freedom to engage in meaningful conversations with complete strangers. Also, it is widely perceived people divulge more information when anonymity is guaranteed. So it is only natural that Facebook would like to capitalize on this particular aspect to cater to all user types.
If Facebook partners with Secret, this might help bring back the lost group of teenagers who found sojourn in Snapchat, WhatsApp, Secret, Whisper and the likes. The main reason for teenagers deserting Facebook is to avoid parents' scrutiny on their online activity, Wired claimed.
The unique selling point of the apps/services is that none of them keeps a permanent record of users' online activity. Also, users can pick a temporary handle for one time use and discard the same the next day. Adding cherry on top, the popular app Snapchat self-destroys the content.
With all these rumors, there is no official confirmation on the Facebook-Secret deal. Facebook relies on gathering information, personal details, likes, dislikes about its individual users to cater them with appropriate ads that ultimately transforms into revenue for Facebook.
If Secret-like mechanism is integrated in Facebook, the anonymous users might become a problem for advertisements, where Facebook might have to oblige to not saving or using the details of users who would like to stay anonymous.
The other problem is to deal with the slanderous and derogatory comments/posts of some anonymous users, which is a part and parcel of services like Secret and Whisper.
We should know more about this deal in the forthcoming weeks. What do you think of anonymity in Facebook?
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