Technology

Secret’s Out: The Rise and Fall of the Anonymous Social App

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(Engadget) – Secret, the app that was practically synonymous with the anonymous-app movement, is shutting down. David Byttow, Secret’s co-founder and CEO, explained in a Medium post yesterday that the reason for the shuttering is that the app no longer represents the vision he had when he started it in January last year. And if the lackluster activity in my Secret feed of late is any indication, I’m guessing the severe decline in users is a reason too. Its recent design overhaul probably alienated a lot of folks and the departure of co-founder Chrys Bader can’t have helped things either.

Yet, for a little while there, Secret was the hottest app around, at least with a few early adopters and media watchers intrigued by the idea of covert confessions and mysterious missives. For many, it offered an inside look at the Silicon Valley gossip mill — there were rumors about Yahoo buying Evernote (false), Vic Gundotra leaving Google (true) and Nike shutting down its FuelBand division (not quite). Many also used it as an anonymous form of Tinder. With the help of third-party messaging services (Secret would eventually have a built-in messaging feature), it became a little like blind-date roulette — where you don’t know what the other person looks like until you meet — thus adding a bit of spice to the normal hookup.

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