Secret, the app that was practically synonymous with the anonymous-app movement, is shutting down. The reason for the shuttering is that the app no longer represents the vision he had when he started it in January last year.
Yet, for a little while there, Secret was the hottest app around, at least with a few early adopters and media watchers intrigued by the idea of covert confessions and mysterious missives. For many, it offered an inside look at the Silicon Valley gossip mill — there were rumors about Yahoo buying Evernote (false), Vic Gundotra leaving Google (true) and Nike shutting down its FuelBand division (not quite). Many also used it as an anonymous form of Tinder.
For most people, though, Secret simply offered a way to vent out loud to a group of friends without anyone knowing who you were. The original idea was to foster a safe environment so that people would feel comfortable saying all sorts of things without fear of repercussion. It’s an idea that must’ve resonated enough with people that Secret has garnered nearly $35 million in funding.
things didn’t always work out that way. For one thing, anonymous comments are often anything but supportive, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone on the internet. Further, because the secret is constrained to friends or friends of friends, it isn’t very difficult to figure out who’s saying what, especially if you have a small social circle. If you exposed your infatuation for a boy at school, it’s very likely that a close bud would figure out it’s you who said it. Secret did change its design so that you could share your confessions on a global location-based list instead, but that made it a little too similar to other anonymous-sharing apps like Whisper and Yik Yak.