While social media has become a platform for individuals to have their own public personas, there are also different online platforms these days that allow users to share and post without revealing their true selves. Different “anonymous apps” such as Whisper, Yik Yak and Secret allow users to remain nameless while posting some of their thoughts (deep, dark, and otherwise), secrets, ideas or revelations that they’d rather not be traced back to them. Here’s a quick review of the different features these three apps possess.
This app allows users to post and send messages for free, and allows users to see posts by people nearest them or from their schools. “Whispers” are categorized under Popular, Nearby and Latest.
Whisper utilizes image-rich content. Once you decide on something you would like to share, Whisper will then add an appropriate image to go with your “whisper.” The app also has a feature where other users can reply and privately message you and see your location.
To download the app, users must be at least 17 years old. It is available for iOS and Android devices.
This app is simple. You get a live feed of what everyone’s saying around you. The app is described in iTunes as: “a bulletin board for your area by showing the most recent posts from other users around you. It allows anyone to connect and share information with others without having to know them.”
You can “upvote” yaks that you like and “downvote” yaks you don’t. The app also allows you to see what’s happening in other places, communities and schools. By posting Yaks that gets the most upvotes, you get Yakarma points.
To start using the app, users simply have to download the app and enter their cellphone number to start sharing. You can get the app on iTunes and in Google Play.
Like Whisper and Yik Yak, Secret serves as an online sounding board for anything you’d like to reveal. The app allows you to make new friends and explore what people nearby are saying. There are different topics and locations you can choose from, and you can also chat privately with other users. You can increase your “love” by giving and receiving hearts to fellow users as well.
To get started, the app will be asking for your email and phone number and will ask you to connect your account to Facebook.
You can download the app for Android devices and iOS devices.
Anonymous Apps and Bullying
Due to the anonymous nature of these apps, users tend to feel safer hiding behind their accounts, which leads to behavior and actions that are not afraid of consequences. For example, users have been reported to feel more comfortable using vulgar and obscene language.
There have been reported cases of public shaming through the use of these apps as well, which is why an increasing number of high schools and college campuses in the United States have taken steps to ban them. In fact, Yik Yak, which has been extremely popular in schools, has been banned due to concerns that it promotes hate speech. However, some schools are fighting back by spreading general positive messages.