Secret is a buzzy new app that has taken Silicon Valley by storm. Every blogger and investor seems eager to post rumours or musings on it anonymously. It raised $US1.43 million from Google Ventures, Initialized Capital, SV Angel, Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures, S-Cubed, Fuel Capital, and a couple angel investors.
Secret is a lot like anonymous photo and text-sharing startup, Whisper. But unlike Whisper, which lets you see secrets from everyone on the app whether you know them or not, Secret shows you posts that are primarily written by friends or friends of friends.
A lot of startups have tried and failed to build anonymous social networks. PostSecret went down because its founder found it “very challenging to remove determined users with malicious intent.” Juicy Campus was sued by people defamed on its site.
Whisper has combatted some potential pitfalls by building a robust moderation team. About 100 people work to make sure posts don’t personally attack others, and they have a relationship with authorities when harmful posts are published.
Secret, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care what you post, as long as you’re posting something. And because posts are mostly written and seen by people in your social network, it isn’t always difficult for friends to identify who you are.
Earlier today, my colleague Steve Kovach was outed on Secret. It only took two minutes, which completely defeats the purpose of an anonymous network.