Facebook Explores Anonymity Features

ReCode › Mike Isaac

Facebook spent years defining what it means to have an online identity. Now with the surge in popularity of anonymous social apps, Facebook may be spending the next few figuring out how to deal with the complete opposite case.

The social networking giant has expressed interest in exploring how it can develop anonymity services. Secret, one of the latest buzzy social apps, has met with Facebook to discuss how the two companies can work together, according to people familiar with the matter. Details of these discussions were not available and both Facebook and Secret representatives declined to comment on this.

Rumors of a $100 million offer from Facebook to buy Secret that reverberated through Silicon Valley this week were shot down by two people familiar with the social networking giant’s plans.

Facebook has already played around with ways of logging in to Facebook apps anonymously, which would be a big departure from the always-logged-in experience that visiting the Facebook.com site and mobile apps has been traditionally.




  1. Anonymous says:

    I guess people should know more about the research made by corporations, like these studies of online identity. The relevant academic journals and papers are available to almost any student, or otherwise via sites like sci-hub (dot) org. Everything may look too complicated to get across to an average internet user, but the main points could be probably summarized in this way:
    – we’re doing research into your behavior and we may use its results as we wish;
    – your profiles not only reflect your personality or are subject to your conscious decisions as to constructing an identity, but also influence your offline identity;
    – you don’t always think of your identity as we do.

    I’m not an expert in psychology or cultural studies, but this is the first impression I had when I first came across some scientific on these issues.

    There’s also another maybe even more relevant yet not widely recognized problem – an overwhelming mediation of communication by screens. Being an “interface” in case of computers and mobile devices, it mediates a face-to-face interaction. The primary effect is the withdrawal of attention from our surroundings and a long-term effect is, probably, an increasing deterioration of daily face-to-face encounters, grounded in the lack of attention to the face and personality of our interlocutor – which is not mediated by any screen, the supreme attention-catcher.