Keeping someone else’s secrets is notoriously difficult. The new app “Secret” ostensibly solves that problem by letting you see your friends’ secrets without knowing which friends they came from. Here’s how Secret works:
1) When you download the app, it scans your contacts and adds any other Secret users to your feed. At least three of your contacts have to be using Secret for you to be able to access the feed at all. It doesn’t tell you who those friends are.
2) You post a secret.
3) You friends can choose to “like” your secret by clicking the heart. If they do, then THEIR contacts will be able to see the secret as well. And if those people like it, their friends will see it. The better the secret, the more people who will see it. You can see which secrets originated from your network, but other than that, you don’t know how many degrees of separation are between you and the person confessing.
With similar apps like Whisper and the now-defunct PostSecret app, you see secrets from all users. That means a lot of them are either dubious (“I murdered someone and no one ever found the body!” “My husband doesn’t know our kids are actually his half-brothers!”), feeble platitudes (“Life is not worth living without love” “Friends are the best medicine”) or juvenile (“I feel guilty that I let him touch my boobs on our first date” “I love my boyfriend so much it scares me :( <3 “). Secret was supposed to be different. The secrets weren't from a monolith of users - they were from your friends and their friends. Ideally, that community aspect would spur users to share more deep and honest secrets.
Since I’m an adult, I thought Secret would be full of legitimate adult secrets from my extended network of acquaintances. ValleyWag reported that in Silicon Valley, early adopters of Secret were spilling their guts about the tech world. Entrepreneurs and engineers were posting confidential info about their obnoxious investors and terrible ideas. I live in Los Angeles, work on Internet things, and have lots of friends in San Francisco, so I assumed that I’d be knee-deep in classified info pretty quickly. I wasn’t. I’ve had the app for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Secret is just another app for people to post boring non-secrets fishing for likes. Here are a few from my feed that prove Secret is just another boring non-secret-sharing app.
As you can see, this one is from my network, which means someone whose phone number I have thought this notion was worth sharing with the world. I'm ashamed on behalf of my contacts.
From the "feeble platitudes" division.
This isn't so much a secret as it is evidence of animal abuse. Pray this was Photoshopped.
The point of this app is to share things anonymously with your friends. If you're ultimately going to post it to Facebook, it's not a secret.
You like your girlfriend. That shouldn't be a secret.
The creator of Secret wrote, "We believe that Secret is something truly special and will carve out a new way for people to connect with one another." For right now, it's just another way to tell people things they didn't particularly care to know in the first place. If you're still interested - or you think your secrets might spice up my feed a little - get it here.