Photo: Courtesy of Facebook.
Just call it the Ello effect.
The New York Times is reporting that Facebook is set to launch a standalone app that will grant users the ability to explore its blue universe anonymously.
The app feels like a direct response to the recent buzz generated by the alt social media platform, Ello, which allows its users to operate under any name they choose. Facebook, on the other hand, came under fire recently when their updated terms of service prevented users from signing up under assumed names. A group of drag performers in San Francisco — who were denied the right to use their stage names on Facebook — protested and just last week, Facebook announced that it was reversing the rule.
"The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life," wrote the company's chief product officer, Chris Cox, in a public apology.
The new app, which has yet to be officially confirmed by Facebook, looks to be the company's attempt to take its purported spirit of inclusivity to new heights. According to anonymous sources, the goal of the new app "is to allow Facebook users to use multiple pseudonyms to openly discuss the different things they talk about on the Internet; topics of discussion which they may not be comfortable connecting to their real names." Think clandestine apps like Whisper and Secret.
Josh Miller, who came to Facebook when they acquired his link-sharing service, Branch, is said to be heading up the app's development. (The New York Times)