I have fond memories of Secret, an anonymous sharing app that was mostly used to make snide comments on people without giving out your identity. Well, to be frank, the Secret app extended beyond the usual trolling and it started to help build a community. The app linked your contacts from address book or Facebook but was completely anonymous. More than a year ago Secret was abruptly shut down after continued legal battles and complaints about bullying.
David Byttow the man behind Secret has said in a Tweet that Secret V2 is in making and it is “too important not to exist.” At its peak the company was pegged at $100 Million and Secret had already raised $35 million but eventually, it cut its staff into the half before going into a stealth mode and finally shutting down the app completely. Byttow told TechCrunch that it was the recent U.S elections which inspired him to bring back the product and he emphasized on how the downsides of current social media products must be addressed.
All of this comes at a time when Facebook has been accused of spreading fake news and misinformation in a controlled way throughout the entire election cycle. Many are suspecting that this deluge of fake and misinformed news has ended up influencing the election results. Also, this time around the developer won’t be creating the app himself and prefers hiring a new team that will work under his tutelage. Furthermore, Byttow will also tread carefully and ensure that the Secret doesn’t make the same mistakes as its previous avatar.
The Secret V2 might take a while as Byttow hasn’t outlined even a tentative date, he has in fact made it clear that they will now be opting for venture capital and will mostly be infusing his own funds. Commenting on the operational costs of the app, Byttow said, “If it’s to exist, it must be self-sustainable, and must be free of any conflicts of interest.” This is one of the quintessential aspects of the Secret app especially when one is claiming to promote free speech and ideas the sponsorships can spell trouble and disturb the equilibrium. As I said earlier, Secret has been more than just a rumor mill and despite its dark side, this is one app I am eagerly looking forward to.