Shortly over a year after its launch, the Secret app is shutting down.
Secret is based in the Silicon Valley, and is an anonymous sharing app where users could share their secrets without being identified. The anonymity appealed to many tech-savy users, as have similar apps like Yikyak and Whisper.
According to Businesssinsider.com, the co-founders of the company had met up with Juicy Campus founder Matt Ivester in order to avoid having their app have the same downfall as Juicy Campus, but it ultimately did.
To the credit of the app developers, they had spoken at length with other apps and websites that had tried to do the same thing, calling the lessons “invaluable”.
“But the service was criticized for allowing people to defame others while remaining anonymous. It was banned in Brazil for promoting cyber-bullying, “said BBC.com.
In its prime, the app did farely well. The app launched in February 2014, and raised $35 million for funding. Also, just a month after it had launched, there were announcements being made that celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Joe Montana were making investments in the app.
Therealtimereport.com said that Secret had been amongst the top-20 social apps in the App store only one week into when it first launched. Their ranking dropped significantly only 10 months into its launch.
The app had a large range of features like being able to chat one-on-one with users, showing or hiding that you were a friend of another user, and the ability to see posts from different categories such as city or school.
From the beginning the goal with this app had been for people to share information with users in their area. Ultimately, this was not the case with the app, and cyberbullying has been attributed to one of the reasons the app is shutting down.
The app had hoped to create honest conversations on various topics, giving people the freedom to not feel judged by their peers.
On Medium.com, the blogging site for all things Secret, Co-Founders David Byttow and Chrys Bader made a post back in August 2014 expressing how they would not tolerate hateful speech, bullies, pornography or information that would be considered too person like contact information.
The problems faced by the app are similar to ones that many social media with anonymous qualities, people are going to be rude, as they are able to hide behind a screen with little to no repercussions. Yikyak has tried to prevent this with features like the down vote, but it is unavoidable with such a large forum with so many people having access to it.
In the past, the app tried to warn others about being cautious of what they post, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears.
The app even gave users the choice to
Byttow wrote, “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.”
With so many anonymous sharing websites and apps have met the same downfall, can this type of thing successfully exist in the world we live in?
Byttow went on to say that he plans to discuss on the blog the ups and downs of the app. This may service useful for developers in the future.
“I believe in honest, open communication and creative expression, and anonymity is a great device to achieve it. But also it’s the ultimate double-edge sword, which must be wielded with great respect and care,” wrote Byttow.
The company plans to return money to all those who have made investments in the company.
Featured image Via Sunset blog