It's been just over two weeks since 'anonymish' app Secret relaunched as a faster social network with a new feed focused on your surroundings: a collection of all the secrets shared in your geographical area, with the identities of everyone who posts them concealed behind an anonymous avatar. Today Secret is taking the next logical step, introducing an events-based feed that shows you everything its users are saying about CES 2015. If you're on the ground here in Las Vegas, you can post about the gadgets you're seeing, the drugs you're doing, or whatever else comes to mind. And if you're only attending CES online, you can still pull up the CES feed inside the Secret app and see what everyone's talking about.
For Secret, it's a first step toward seeing whether its users find value in an ephemeral, event-based social network that complements the app's initial focus on friends. "The goal has always been to bring transparency into communities," says Chrys Bader, Secret co-founder. The communities at conferences are often quite opaque — there's rarely a central bulletin board where people can discuss the event in real time, much less discuss it anonymously. Bader says Secret's CES feed is an experiment designed to see what kinds of stories people share with other people at the event.
"The goal has always been to bring transparency to communities."
Here's a guess: they'll use it to hook up! Secret's redesign last month introduced a chat feature, and Bader says it has proven popular with users. The founders decided to withhold the option to exchange photos in chat — some of the content on Secret is racy enough already without creating an avenue for one-to-one photo sexting. But it's not a big leap from a private chat on Secret to Snapchat, SMS, or any other photo-enabled messaging solution of your choosing. If you're in town on business and feeling lonely, why not check in with other conference-goers and see who's feeling the same way?
But so far at least, Secret's CES feed isn't all sexting — there's also generic talk about the conference, drinking, drugs, and so on. And as word gets out today, there's a chance it could develop into a real destination. Secret's event feed resembles a blend between Yik Yak, which has long offered a location-based feed, and Snapchat's "Our Story" feature, which lets users post pictures and videos of themselves at events like football games and New Year's Eve in Times Square. The question is whether it's distinctive enough to make it a new area of focus for Secret. We may find out this week.