Yesterday an article in The New York Times revealed Facebook’s plan to launch a new anonymous sharing app in the near future. Now Josh Miller, the product manager behind the rumored service, has responded to the news on Twitter, defending the project and adding that he can’t wait to reveal the new product.
I hope people know the @branch crew wouldn't build a clone of anything. Can't comment on rumors but can't wait to show you what we've built.
— Josh Miller (@joshm) October 7, 2014
Miller, who joined Facebook after his company Branch was acquired earlier this year, argues that there’s nothing new about online anonymity. Of course that’s true, though it’s definitely a new direction for the social network. We’re a bit concerned the new app could simply copy Secret or Whisper based on Facebook’s recent track record, but it sounds like Miller has done some serious thinking about what anonymous apps should do and how they should perform.
First, he notes that his focus isn’t anonymity for its own sake. Instead, the app needs to serve a specific purpose and “human desire.” He adds that you need some sort of “recurring identity” (usernames?), and hints that it could be based around your pre-existing network of friends or a location like a school. That sounds a bit like a mix of Secret and Reddit to be honest, but we’ll give Miller the benefit of the doubt for now and assume he has something unique cooking.
It’s unclear exactly when Facebook’s new app will launch, though according to The New York Times it may only be a few more weeks before we get an official announcement. Miller also notes that he’ll be in both New York and San Francisco very soon, so hopefully we’ll learn more in the near future.