Psst…Wanna Hear a Secret?

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One of the recent trends in social media is the shift towards smaller, closed circle communication platforms, especially among younger demographics. The growing popularity of social media platforms like Snapchat and Vine demonstrate that there’s a substantial market for people that want to use social media, but don’t want to ‘share’ their thoughts and feelings with the entire world. Taking this concept one step further are companies like Whisper, Secret, Confide, and Rumr which allow nameless users to post anonymous confessions, gripes, and gossip as detailed in this article.

According to the co-founder of Secret, “Anonymity can help people be themselves and share what they really feel or think”. The intriguing aspect to Secret is that it will share your posts only with your circle of friends, which it gathers by combing through your existing contacts and determining who else is using Secret. The idea is that the posts will remain relevant – not posted by a total stranger – but anonymous enough that you don’t have to worry about offending certain friends, family, or coworkers.

Personally I find this to be a very creative means of expanding ‘dark social’ communication, but will this concept be successful enough to take off and surpass other popular platforms like Snapchat? Would you feel more comfortable signing up on one of these services where you could share your thoughts and feelings without having to worry about public perception or how your impulsive posts fits into your carefully constructed social graph?

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7 thoughts on “Psst…Wanna Hear a Secret?

  1. As we have discussed in class, I think closed social is a way for younger people to avoid the public nature of posting on social media. Particularly I think they are avoiding the older age group (parents and relatives) who are creeping onto all different forms of social. Though I do think that this kind of dark social media has a place in the social media world, but I think the purpose of it is slightly different than the secrecy and privacy that closed social provides. Dark social is almost a means to post or share, but on a smaller scale, perhaps even on a wide scale with anonymity. Regardless of who these two different types of social are meant for, I think both serve a purpose in the social atmosphere.

  2. I think ‘dark social’ is an innovative way of communication, and it allows people to be themselves and share what they really feel and think without worrying too much about the others. People cannot feel and experience this kind of ‘freedom’ and ”security” when they are using other social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In that sense, ‘dark social’ is providing a very unique service and satisfying the needs of users in a different way from the other social media. I’m not sure if ‘dark social’ communication will take off other popular platforms but I think its market will grow over the next several years. However, I personally don’t want to sign up for a dark social media website because I still perceive internet or social media as “public place” and I don’t feel 100% secured to share my ‘secrets’ there.

  3. I just wonder how anonymous the site really is. Secret gathers contacts from your existing contacts. I am sure many of you have your coworkers, employees or even bosses as some of your contacts. So how secretive can it really be? I doubt that I would ever sign up for this service because, let’s be honest, nothing is ever really secretive.

  4. People want to interact with their actual friends or disappear in anonymity to regain the freedom of speech as the social media has became a mainstream thing. This kind of need gives private social a chance to survive and bloom. The target group for private or secret social is young people, who hate being spied by parents or relatives on public social. That may be a reason why messaging apps are so popular today. I read some posts on Secret. I agree it’s a great place for people to share their thoughts without worrying about to be seen by friends or family. If I could get some valuable idea from secret social, I would like to sign up one.

  5. Some years back, a website titled “formspring.me” rolled out – it was very popular with the high school crowd, and allowed for anyone to leave an anonymous question or comment on someone’s page. It led to “drama,” where high school students launched full-scale investigations into finding out who left offending questions or comments on their respective pages – and most of the time, they could figure out who said it based on the tone and the content of the question. A site such as Secret – especially where a limited group of people could be held responsible for offending comments – will only produce similar absurdity.

  6. I agree with MGD. A secret is only a secret if you don’t tell anybody. That goes for in person so I think it is absolute that a secret “said” online, is certainly not private – similar to what we saw with snapchat in the past. However, I also think we need to keep in mind that these are for profit businesses and if users flock to them in big numbers, then it will be a success at least in the short term for the business. In other words, who is to say they measure their success based on the number of users they have – not necessarily keeping “secrets” safe.

  7. This is an interesting concept, but its easier to just have some impulse control and only post things that you would want others to see than to have more social platforms to manage.

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