Secret, the chat app that lets you post your deepest, darkest, or just humourous secrets has closed for good. Secret launched in the beginning of 2014, at a time when another identity-free app, Whisper, was garnering buzz. At its peak, the app had over 15 million registered users. The app hit a speed bump in the beginning of the year when its co-founder left after the app’s re-design. In less than a year and a half since its launch, Secret has already shuttered.
According to Secret founder David Byttow,
“Unfortunately, Secret does not represent the vision I had when starting the company, so I believe it’s the right decision for myself, our investors and our team.”
Competing app, Whisper, was mired in controversy after the Guardian revealed that Whisper was tracking users, even those who opted out. The app was also allegedly tracking users its staff deemed “newsworthy” and later, reportedly, sharing data with the government and other third-parties. The Guardian later admitted that some of its accusations were exaggerated, but the public damage was done. Perhaps, it was at that point that public interest and trust in anonymous sharing apps began to dwindle.
Some chat apps where users can post namelessly are withstanding the tests of time. Yik Yak seems to be holding on, as it remains in the top 300 on the Apple App Store; whereas, Whisper is bouncing around the top 1,000 mark. Yik Yak may owe its success to the classroom, as geo-fencing allows students in the same vicinity to gossip with complete anonymity, and everyone bonds over making fun of the substitute teacher.