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Social network Secret brings its ‘anonymish’ gossip to Android

Social network Secret brings its ‘anonymish’ gossip to Android

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Secret, the ‘anonymish’ social network that has captivated Silicon Valley since it launched four months ago, is arriving on Android today with a much-requested new feature. Users of Android devices will be able to divide the app’s feed of secrets, gossip, and other confessions into two: one tab will show secrets only from your friends and friends of friends, while an "explore" tab will show you secrets from around the world.

The new feed is made possible in part by the fact that as of today, Secret is global. Formerly available only in a handful of countries, the app is now available (in English) around the world. But the bigger changes are to the feed. The friends-only tab, which has been a top request of iOS users, is coming to Secret first on Android. "It’s cool that we’re at a point where we can lead with Android," says Secret co-founder Chrys Bader. "We’re really excited about that." But the feature is coming "soon" to iOS, he says, declining to be more specific. In an effort to steer users toward healthy topics of conversations, both the iOS and Android feeds will also now include "icebreakers" asking users to share stories from their lives.

A much-requested feature exclusive to Android

Android users who are using Secret for the first time will find a compelling and sometimes controversial set of confessions in the app. Inside Secret you will find lighthearted declarations of love, anguished cries for help, bitter complaints about colleagues, and explicit confessions about users’ sex lives. The phone links with your contacts to identify your friends and friends of friends, but never identities them by name.

The result is a social network that offers an unusually candid stream of updates. "We have all these thoughts and feelings that we want to share, but they just haven’t had a place," Bader says. "They don’t belong anywhere. You start to fall in love, you want to leave your new job — these all start as secrets. It takes a lot to go and share with that. So I think that’s the thing that’s really been resonating with Secret."

"We want Secret to be a safe place."

The app has also generated an unusually high volume of commentary, largely centered around the capacity of anonymous messages to promote bullying. The company has built several tools to discourage harassment on the network, employing moderators to remove offensive posts and warning users not to bully when their secrets contain proper names. "Ultimately, we want Secret to be a safe place," Bader says.

The team has grown from Bader and his co-founder, David Byttow, to include a dozen more people. The app has raised $8.6 million to date, but won’t say how many users it has. Its update comes on the heels of a huge update this week to the similar anonymous social network Whisper, which says it has "millions" of users and has raised $60 million.