Whisper, an anonymous app with 10 million active users, hires a president to ramp up revenue efforts

Michael Heyward

Whisper, an anonymous app that lets users speak its mind, has hired a president to oversee business operations, Mark Troughton.

Troughton was introduced to the startup eighteen months ago by Sequoia Capital, one of Whisper’s lead investors. He previously was president of money lending company Wonga and Green Dot, a Sequoia-backed startup he took public.

Whisper has raised more than $US60 million since its 2012 launch and it has been ramping up monetisation efforts for the past year and a half. The company released keyword targeting to advertisers within its app, so if a user posts something about feeing scared, for example, an advertiser for a horror movie can show a promotion next to the content.

The Venice, California-based startup has also finally revealed how many people use it. CEO Michael Heyward says Whisper has more than 10 million monthly active users, and 1 million app opens per hour.

10 million monthly active users is pretty good. But earlier today, a 16-month-old Whisper competitor, Secret, went out of business. A memo written by Secret’s CEO, David Byttow, stated that the app had 15 million users at its peak. I

There’s a big difference between monthly active users and total users though. Monthly active users visit a website or mobile application at least once every thirty days. Total users are the number of people who have ever used an app, even just once. As of February, another Whisper competitor, Yik Yak, had a few million (but less than 10) monthly active users.

“Our goals are much bigger,” Heyward wrote in a blog post on Wednesday, “and we all felt that this was the right time to bring Mark onboard to help us achieve them.”

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