Reddit has the killer social network feature that should be facebook's (or google+'s) - Anonymity

As a follow-on to my last post, about facebook needing the ability to forget, I'm going to put forward a premise - the Reddit's social features are exactly the features that facebook needs in order to grow.

First, what are the issues? Please read my previous post for some reasons but briefly here:

  1. Your friends on facebook in general have about an average amount in common with you. This is to say not much.
  2. Any disagreement on facebook is public and pride often will have unintended consequences.
  3. Reactions are often more severe on fb than they would be in person. Not wanting to damage a real-life relationship people often don't dissent and hence the facebook world only contains "likes" and no "dislikes".
    1. This last point renders most of facebook content what I like to call "Pictures of Stolen Pets" content. *** 
How could we fix this? First, allow ad-hoc friendships based on some categorization. Say by topic. People can now select the topics and engage parties interested in that topic. These users will be interested in that topic but not necessarily agree with them supporting a debate. Also make the system anonymous. With this no one is risking real-life relationships and are free to voice their opinions. If it was just this then you'd get spamming, and ridiculousness. Now add a personal ranking system. That is, some scoring system where your content (comments or submissions) would be more or less prominent depending on your ranking. In this way users are incentivised to only add quality content that then keeps up their online persona.

This last paragraph of course is a generalization of reddit. What we have here are two social networks both with their respective social niches. But could one expand into the other?

Reddit: By anonymously linking a real-life account and adding fb features one could easily see many users switching from fb. Reddit is seen as the cool social network at the moment. fb fatigue is a real thing and the Internet is ready.

facebook: Add the ability to create one or multiple anonymous personas from a fb account and add a conversation system with points. I think multiple personas would be key as if you where ever "discovered" then you'd want to easily switch to another persona without losing your "karma" to use reddit vernacular. It would be difficult as in a lot of circles fb is the new myspace but I think to keep it's dominance fb needs to have this set of features.

Google plus: g+ would also benefit from this as there's no reason yet to go to g+. It's just a uncompelling twitter/fb mashup currently and the "Microsoft Method" (tm) ** is starting to be less effective as the pace of technology change accelerates (I'm looking at you Windows Phone).

Why won't any of this happen? For some reason big companies are really into real names. Actual people not so much. These tech giants need to get past the "real identities" bit and think with their wallets. You care about eyeballs and credit cards - please stop equating "real" registrations with value.

** Microsoft Method - copy the market leaders and use your market dominance and funding from other businesses to eventually strange/crush the existing players.
*** "Pictures of Stolen Pets" content - content that's unlikely to get negative feedback and will likely get positive feedback from some and silent resentment from others. Baby pics are in this category. Why "stolen"? Have you ever considered how many pictures of animals are described as "look who I found and adopted?" there are on reddit? ;>


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