Facebook is reportedly plotting a mobile application that would allow users to chat with each other under anonymously.
The New York Times says the app will allow users to engage with others on Facebook without having to use their real names.
The app, which could be released in the next couple of weeks, would represent a dramatic departure from Facebook’s recent policy of insisting on real name interaction.
Traditionally, the firm has taken a dim view of folks attempting to use pseudonyms for their profile.
Just last week the firm was forced into an apology over the upset caused to drag queens who’s profiles were flagged as ‘fake’ by the site's robots.
Perhaps this latest move could be touted as some sort of middle ground that could help users feel comfortable interacting with other people without revealing their true identities.
According to the NYT’s report, the app has been in the making for over a year, and will allow users to adopt multiple user names for various topics of discussion.
The Times says it is not clear whether the app will interact with the main app. It’s also possible that it could be part of Facebook’s rumoured expansion into personal health.
The launch of such an app would fly in the face of Facebook’s desire to protect users from spammers, trolls and impersonators.
Just last week, Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox wrote on the problems of using pseudonyms online, when discussing the LGBT controversy.
He wrote: “The stories of mass impersonation, trolling, domestic abuse, and higher rates of bullying and intolerance are oftentimes the result of people hiding behind fake names, and it’s both terrifying and sad."
The company has so far declined to comment on the reports.
Read more: Opinion: Stop experimenting on us, Facebook!