In times where social medial platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google are encouraging users to reveal their personal information, choices and activities, a new class of apps that promotes honesty is getting popular. The new apps enable users to shed their real life identity to let them speak their mind openly without any pretensions.
Secret, Whispers, Confide and Yik Yak are some of the most popular anonymity apps.
Created by two former Google engineers, Secret helps users share their deepest and darkest thoughts, gossips, criticism and even personal failures. David Byttow, one of the founders, compares Secret to a “masquerade ball,” where you know who all are there but you can never see their faces.
When it comes to the future of these apps, there’s clearly a division of opinions. Some believe that anonymity apps will encourage bullying and slander, while others believe that it can have a cathartic value for those who can’t openly express their grief and pain.
Whisper CEO Michael Heyward doesn’t agree with the critics. He said that the company’s app doesn’t allow people to attack others. It specifically prohibits users from putting proper names in their posts, and to ensure the implementation of this policy, it employs around 120 human moderators to comb through posts in real time.
Although jury may be out on how popular these anonymity apps would be in the near future, currently it has all the potential to give social media platforms a run for their money, specifically in light of widespread fear over the loss of privacy to government data collection efforts.