The current Facebook strategy seems to be to offer smaller products that tie into its main social network. Speculation abounds, but it looks like there are possible health care products and solutions on the horizon and maybe even an anonymous messaging app.
According to New York Times Bits blog contributor Mike Isaac, “The company is working on a stand-alone mobile application that allows users to interact inside of it without having to use their real names, according to two people briefed on Facebook’s plans. [The app] reveals a different, experimental take on Facebook’s long-established approach to identity.”
This move may explain the recent real names policy that Facebook had to swiftly back away from amid complaints. Perhaps the strategy was to force users to provide their real names, then providing them with an anonymous app. The result would have been users essentially adopting the new anonymous app much the same way the Facebook messenger was adopted: It would be mandatory.
That said, the functionality of the app is unknown. Isaac’s article seems to allude to a forum style app that allows the use of multiple pseudonyms, which would indicate that Facebook is interested in competing with the likes of Reddit. This point is also echoed by Business Insider.
Facebook has likely learned well from the demise of MySpace: If your network fails to grow and change with the times, it will stagnate. By diversifying into other areas like anonymous apps and ephemeral offerings like Slingshot, Facebook is likely hoping to retain more market share for longer as new groups find its new apps, and old groups find new communication tools.