Have you ever wanted to tell the world the shameful things you have done but are too chicken to admit? A new breed of social networking might just be the answer to your woes.
An anonymous social network named Secret is launching in the UK after it was proven a hit among Silicon Valley's young and technology-savvy social circle of programmers and engineers. It is also coming to three other countries, namely Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
Secret allows its users to post about whatever they wish under the protection of anonymity. There are no names or user profiles on Secret, only the information users want to share.
Former Google employees Chris Bader and David Byttow created Secret, in the hopes of encouraging users to "speak freely, share anything." So far, their venture is proving to be a commercial success. Just 45 days after Secret was made public in early 2014, the new social network raised $8.6 million in venture capital.
Secret is not the first of its kind, however. Whisper, another anonymous social network valued at $200 million, focuses on secrets among strangers. Secret, on the other hand, aims at sharing secrets among friends.
In Secret, a user is required to add at least three friends into his contact list before he can start posting secrets. His friends will not know who posted what. However, each time he likes another user's secret, his friends will know. This gives the potential for interesting pieces of information, as well as gossip, to spread like wildfire among a user's contact list, friends of friends and throughout the globe.
Secret has become more than just a venue for sharing secrets without the fear of being judged. Unsurprisingly, the social network has gained a notorious reputation as a hot spot for informers and whistleblowers.
The news that Google+ chief Vic Gundotra was stepping down from office as first posted on Secret, when one user shared, "Vic Gundotra is interviewing." It was also on Secret where the technology industry first learned of Nike's plan to disband its team of engineers who worked on FuelBand, with someone posting, "The douchebag execs at Nike are going to lay off a bunch of the eng team who developed The FuelBand and other Nike+ stuff."
Followers of Secret's slow rise to stardom have raised concerns about the social network's potential contributions to cyber-bullying. Rory Callen-Jones of the BBC reports that a number of Google insiders started badmouthing Gundotra following the secret about his interviewing.
"The other risk for the people behind the app is that it is used for cyber-bullying inside companies or even schools," Callen-Jones writes. "Twitter and Facebook have already found a California base doesn't mean you can simply ignore the culture and legal systems of other countries where you operate."
Secret is only available as an app for iOS devices, but an Android version is currently in beta.