Facebook has been on the receiving end of a barrage of criticism in recent weeks over its handling of a controversy surrounding its real names policy. Now it seems the social network may be taking a complete U-turn in its approach to connecting people as rumors are circulating that Facebook is building a chat app that would let users converse anonymously.

The company is said to be working on a standalone mobile app that will allow users to interact without having to use their real names according to two people familiar with the plans as reported by The New York Times. The idea is to give Facebook users multiple identities to openly discuss different subject matter – stuff they may not be comfortable talking about with their real names attached.

The project is reportedly being led by Josh Miller, an employee that joined Facebook when it acquired his startup called Branch. Miller and his team have been working on the anonymous chat app for the last year, sources claim.

Linking people with friends and mapping out connections to others has been Facebook’s mantra up to this point. The approach has led to incredible success in which they’ve dominated the social networking scene (and made a ton of money via advertising) for close to a decade and kept rivals like Google+ at bay.

But times are changing and people are starting to value their privacy more than they have in the past. Anyone needing proof of this needn’t look any further than the popularity of apps like Secret and Whisper or even websites like Reddit.

The app is expected to launch in the coming weeks.