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It looks like a social network that allowed you to actively use multiple identities with one single login - what many people already do using special software, but in a cumbersome way - would hit the jackpot: Give users what they want, and give customers what they want too. If G+ did this, it would REALLY differentiate itself from FB.

what makes you think the general population cares about this vs the hackers that this article is about? are there any statistics to show this is more than a 1% phenomenon? i don't think my mom cares.

Agreed, my mom wouldn't care either. But using multiple identities isn't for hackers only. My wife, for example, would use it to separate her work persona from her family one. She is a heavy facebook user and separating those two identities is a big concern for her.

that's what circles are for.

Circles only solve part of the problem: What you publish can always be reshared and then linked to your (real) name. And of course you have to use your real name to start with.

With multiple identities, on the other hand, I could have my real identity, with my real name, and then - for example - my hacker identity, or my secretly gay identity or whatever. With the guarantee that for other users there is absolutely no way to connect the dots if I don't want that myself, but with an easy to use interface that allows me to manage them all as seamlessly as possible.

I personally wouldn't mind if the provider was able to connect the dots and use that information for targeted advertising - as long as it doesn't sell my identity to the advertisers, only the target. And this could become a real differentiator from FB.

that only works if you are so careful with your identities that they can't be linked. so that won't help your wife. there certainly are people who want this, but the burden of proof is on you to show that demand is more than hypothetical or anecdotal. this is a niche feature, not a killer app.

I never claimed to have proof that there would be sufficient demand for this. But if I had to prove something, I would start looking at the number of users who use apps that allow you to use multiple twitter, facebook etc. accounts.

By the way, my wife already manages different identities by using different services (ie facebook and linkedin).

Facebook forbids a lot of things, but that doesn't mean that they don't happen anyway. Before you ask me, I don't have any data about how many multiple accounts there are on FB, but my anecdotal experience suggests that there are many. I also think that it would be very interesting to actually take a survey about that, and about how many people would like to have multiple identities without violating the TOS.

About resharing, of course if you use the same real name in both services that would't be different from circles - it would just make it much harder to reshare, but by no way impossible. That's not my wife's use case. But if you use different names, tracing you becomes pretty difficult.

so what's to stop someone from resharing an update of hers from facebook to linkedin? i don't see any real difference from circles.

facebook does not allow multiple accounts. twitter doesn't have that many users.


we all know somebody who posted the "wrong" thing on Facebook at least once...

The average dude mightnot care yet, but s/he will care in the future. A few years ago it was common practice to participate in mailing lists, forums, etc. using your real name. Then people gradual learned that that had consequences and nowadays nobody really does it. The same goes for posting pictures of you and/or friends and family on an open webpage, nobody does that anymore because people learned the potential problems with doing that.

People haven't put facebook and G+ through the same judgement as they have put the internet in general. They still look at it as a place were they can conveniently post personal information. But eventually they will.

An interesting phenomenon occurs among adult people that go through a serious relationship break up. Most go back to their private life and abandon their facebook activity for obvious reasons. So I would say, people will eventually care.

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