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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

A New Way To Share ‘Secrets’

Secret is a new app that just recently launched—it is described as a space to share your thoughts with your friends, but with a twist. Everything is anonymous on Secret, so it enables you to share personal feelings that you might feel strange sharing otherwise, even with friends. It’s made for those times when you really want to say something, but are maybe too afraid to do, so you don’t say anything at all. This app gives you a way to say those thoughts out loud while keeping them private and do it in an attractive manner.

Your dashboard in Secret.

It’s very easy to sign up—you can visit the website and enter your phone number to have it sent to you. Or you can search for the app in the app store on your phone and download it from there (which is what I did). While Secret uses your phone number and email address to create your account, it promises not to share these details with others in an effort to keep your privacy. Similarly to other social networking apps, Secret asks for permission to access your contacts to find other friends that might be using Secret so you can connect. Again—the app will not tell these other friends that it is you, all this connection means is that you will see each other’s secrets anonymously.

​Using the app is as simple as installing it, the process is pretty similar to composing a tweet. There is an icon in the upper right of the screen that you tap to create a new message, and then from there you can type out your secret, add a picture to the background of it, or swipe left or right to change the background color. After you post your first secret you are met with this message: ​“Your post will be shared to your friends anonymously. If they like it, then their friends will see it too. And if their friends like it, it will spread even further. There’s also a little magic, or secret sauce, if you will,” ​which pretty much details how posts that are not from your friends will end up on your dashboard. An interesting note to this—in the lower left hand corner, it says either “Friend” or gives a location. This means that you’ll always be able to differentiate between secrets from people in your contacts and secrets that you are seeing because the algorithm determined you should. To me, this defeats the purpose of Secret just a little bit. If the whole point of this app is for everything to be anonymous—why make the differentiation between secrets from your contacts and secrets that aren’t?

One of the more inspirational secrets on my dashboard, note the location in the corner.

​It’s all very streamlined, and the app is very attractive. The backgrounds of everybody’s secrets is different but the font and color are the same which gives cohesion to all of the images. This was definitely a good call, because if they allowed for too much customization the dashboard could quickly become a disoriented mess. From looking on their website—having a beautifully written secret is one of their primary focuses and I definitely believe they have succeeded it creating it.

​I played around on the app for a few days and while it peaked my curiosity initially, I can’t see it becoming a part of my “daily app routine.” It seems to be a fun app to try out with your friends a few times but once the novelty of it wears off I don’t think it has much staying power. I like the idea of it allowing people to reveal things they otherwise might keep inside but I think that it focusing so much sharing between your friends limits it’s potential. If the app was built more on just sharing secrets with random other people, and your dashboard being filled with a random mix (without the location tags) it would better serve the people who would be most inclined to use it. Chances are people are not sharing a secret with others in their life for a reason, so setting the app up to focus on secrets between friends first and secrets between others second defeats the purpose for me.

A more serious secret clearly using this app as it’s intended.

When I first read about this app, I immediately thought of PostSecret—a popular community where people create beautiful and unique secrets, mail them to an address anonymously, who then posts them to the web. These secrets were, obviously, from everywhere—and worked because they were totally blind. Chances that you could attribute a secret to certain person were so slim on PostSecret, but when you already have a selected group to pull from (ie. your friends) it is much easier to guess correctly and eliminate the entire point of this app – the anonymity.

​This app is very much in the early stages, and while I probably won’t be a regular user, I’m curious to see where it goes. The company just scored $8.6 million in funding which seems to suggest a bright future for the app. It’s design really is gorgeous and easy to use, and a stylish, simple interface goes along way for a new app, something that could help Secret gain users quickly. Because it is based on sharing secrets with friends, I can see it turning into a place to share more light-hearted secrets as opposed to your deepest, darkest ones (like the aforementioned PostSecret was mainly used for).  Even the small amount of time that I have used it, I have seen just as many inspirational or silly secrets shared as I have serious ones. This use would make more sense, because the lighter the secret the less you’d have to worry about someone finding out it was you that wrote it. My only hope is that—in a time where cyber-bullying and general online cruelness seems to be on the rise—this app is not used to spread hateful messages anonymously, because there is certainly no need for another one of those platforms on the market.

Currently Secret is only available for iPhones, for more information visit them at Secret – Speak Freely

Photo Credits: Secret – Speak Freely

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