Ever thought of sharing a secret that you would have not confessed unless as an anonymous? Well, the next startup featuring in my Amazing Startups blogpost is a secret-sharing app Whisper.
The 2 year old app Whisper is a free iOS and Android mobile app which allows users to send messages anonymously and receive replies. Users post messages which are displayed as text superimposed over an image, similar to greeting cards. Unlike, internet memes, whisper posts are not funny everytime. The posts are thought-provoking and serious which includes secrets that only best friends reveal to each other. Recently, they have introduced chat in their app.
Some of the popular Whisper posts are “”That moment in the locker room when all your teammates are making fun of gays and you’re just sitting there like ‘glad you don’t know about me…'” Some light hearted posts read “It’s comfortable to know my reflexes are still quick…Judging by how fast i yank the earbuds from my ears after accidentally starting a song at full volume.” and “Snow, the only time a girl gets excited over three inches.” and many more.
The app is getting popular day by day. In early November 2013, Whisper was reported to have reached 2.5 billion monthly page-views and nearly 3 billion page-views in December 2013. On average, people spend more than 20 minutes per day with Whisper, checking its content 8-10 times per day. Whisper has raised $25 million from early Snapchat investor Lightspeed and others.
The people who are spilling their guts on Whisper fall between ages 17 and 28. Heyward, 28 year-old founder says less than 4% of his users are under the age of 18. The vast majority of its users – 70% – are women. He believes that anonymity is the reason people like to use the app.
“Anonymity is a really powerful tool. Think about all the things you can do with a hammer. You can build something great, or you can kill someone.” Heywards told in an interview with Business Insider. Heyward occasionally teaches at USC. In a recent class, he asked students to raise their hands if they were virgins. No one did. Then he blindfolded them, turned off the lights, and asked the same question. Half of the hands went up. Think of the first scenario as Facebook and the second as Whisper. Popular sites like Business Insider, Forbes and the The Daily Dot have called Whisper as “anti- Facebook.”
Though, he is very keen to keep the Whisper’s content respectfully. He never wants anyone to read Whisper and feel like they need to shower. He has 92 people moderating content and comments in the Philippines in addition to the 32 people Whisper employs full-time.
– Vatsal Doshi