Your smartphone is now a confessional — at least if you're down to download one of the growing number of apps that let you share secrets with the world without showing your face.
Yup, your diary is no longer the de facto place to go pour out your deepest longings and secrets — now there's Secret and Whisper, similar-yet-different smartphone apps that give you the lowdown on what's normally on the down-low.
Whisper, which launched in 2012, is available for iOS and Android and reaches a relative large audience. When you sign up, you can peruse "whispers" — or secrets — from everyone on the service. Said whispers are usually of the scandalous variety: finding panties in your boyfriend's bag (that aren't yours), your mom catching you with porn — you get the idea.
Just sign up to scan through a homescreen containing the latest whispers, the most popular whispers and those closet to you. All whispers are anonymous, but you can "heart" or comment on ones that you like, or send a direct message to the people who wrote them. You can also share other people's secrets across your social networks. Psst, did you hear that this random dude eats tuna fish with Ruffles? Well, now all your friends do, too!
All users can choose an anonymous username and create personalized whispers complete with image, tags and the font of their choice.
Secret, which launched in January, is a bit closer to home. Available only on iOS, when you first sign on to Secret you'll be asked to connect with all of your contacts also using the app — however, you won't be able to see who you're connecting to. Next, you'll be shunted to a homepage where all of your friends' and connections' anonymous secrets will unfurl. Let the passive aggressive sub-Secreting begin!
Users are able to like or comment on a secret, which furthers its journey to their friends and their friends of friends, etc. So, in essence, you'll be able to see secrets from anyone from a "friend" to someone in "your circle" to "California" — it all depends on how juicy said secret is.
A quick perusal of the secrets on my homescreen currently ranges from "Just heard my baby's heartbeat for the first time," penned by someone in my circle, to a former co-worker's husband asking users to share their anonymous opinions of him. Good luck to him.
Secret and Whisper may be two of the post popular apps in the secret-telling game, but there's still more to check out, including private communication app Wickr (for the careful and the paranoid) and Backchat, an anonymous texting app from 14-year-old developer Daniel Singer.
Of course, the idea of anonymous proclamations is nothing new. Recently, the tech world was enamored of Snapchat, and, a few years back, developers were out with a slew of apps on which folks could farm anonymous opinions of themselves from friends and strangers alike — Facto (which let people share random, you guessed it, facts about themselves), Three Words (which let users describe you in three words), the list goes on.
Naturally, there are a lot of pitfalls to apps like Secret and Whisper — including issues of privacy, according to Mashable — but they certainly are popular.
According to CBS News, Whisper has netted millions of dollars in investments. When it comes to Secret's user numbers and investments, however, the founders are keeping that info appropriately under wraps, according to Entrepreneur. Still, the buzz is building for the clandestine app.
So, what do you think: Would you be down to reveal your secrets via app? Or will you stick to Dear Diary?