Facebook’s latest – Rooms – allows for anonymous sharing and lets you assume multiple pseudonyms while you chat with friends and strangers.
“We want to give people flexibility because that’s what they want,” pointed out 24 year old Josh Miller, a key participant in the creation of Rooms to USA Today. A Princeton graduate, Miller, worked for Meetup – a startup working to rebuild communities for connecting people with similar interests-, then co-founded a Branch that enabled group discussions. Branch was acquired by Facebook in January this year.
Released last week, the new app currently available for iOS, lets the user create “ad hoc” forums on “limitless” subjects and unlike other Facebook apps that use the social service sign-in to assign user ID’s, “snubs its nose at the idea,” explains veteran tech journalist Steven Levy.
However, this trek away from the characteristic advocacy of real identity on the social networking site comes parallel to the rise of another user anonymizing social net, Ello.
While Facebook launched Rooms last week, the Anti – Ad, Anti – Facebook, Ello has scooped up $5.5 million from investors and has filed as a Public Benefit Corp., which apparently will make it legally impossible under US law for investors to force Ello to show ads, sell data, or be acquired by any buyer who would violate those conditions.
Ello still has a long way to go while in Beta, but for its a million something users, it has been standing true to its promises, so far, somewhat. How Facebook’s Rooms and Ello fare will remain an interesting development to track.
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(Image credit: Garry Knight)