A few weeks ago a new app called Secret was released that allows users to share secrets with each other while remaining completely anonymous. The app accesses your mobile phone contacts to connect you (anonymously) to people who are friends of your friends, or sometimes even friends of your friend’s friends. So what’s the premise? You get to read all these secrets by someone that you probably know but without being able to tell who it really is. It’s like a confession page, very much like ‘LUC Secrets’ but without there being a group of people who are ‘in’ on the secret.
In order for the app to work effectively, enough people have to be connected to you (or to your contacts) who are also using the app – otherwise you won’t be seeing many secrets. The app works in a similar way to Facebook, by letting users comment and ‘heart different secrets. This time however, nobody knows who anyone else is – there are no usernames, and every individual is assigned a random avatar, which means that secrets get shared/liked/commented on because of the content of the secret instead of the identity of the sharer.
As one reviewer, Mike Isaac, says of the app, it is “centered around the vertical feed (like today’s most popular social apps), where posts are composed primarily of text with a photo or pre-loaded texture background. Everything is intentionally kept simple – the content of the secret is what’s pushed to the forefront” (2014). This new app goes against everything social media has become – it gets rid of the concept of us creating the best identifiable versions of ourselves online and instead focuses on the content of the message to be pushed through. Here’s what the creators have to say about this new app, “As social networking has become universal, we’ve become increasingly sensitive to what we share online. Speaking on a stage in front of a mixed audience of family, friends, and acquaintances makes it hard for us to be our most authentic selves. As a result, we tend to share only our proudest moments in an attempt to portray our best selves. We filter too much, and with that, lose real human connection. We built Secret for people to be themselves and share anything they’re thinking and feeling with their friends without judgment” (Nosowitz, 2014).
Despite the creators’ intentions, users of the new app have mixed reviews. Just looking at Secret’s customer reviews, you can see that while about 46% of users gave the app a five star rating, 21% of users gave the app only one star:
So what’s your take on this new app? Is it a liberating new social media tool that we can use to further entertain ourselves and learn more about each other or just another new way to further alienate ourselves from each other, this time without identifying ourselves first?
(2013). Secret. Google Play. Retrieved from:
Herman, John. (2014). The Return of the Anonymous Internet: Social networks put identity at
the center of our online lives. Is it too late to turn back? Buzzfeed. Retrieved from: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jwherrman/can-the-internet-ever-be-anonymous-again
Isaac, Mike. (2014). With New Anonymous Social App Secret, the Merit Is in the Message.
Recode. Retrieved from: http://recode.net/2014/01/30/with-new-anonymous-social-app-secret-the-merit-is-in-the-message/
Nosowitz, Dan. (2014). Hot New App Already Filled With Garbage. The Awl. Retrieved from: