Secret for iPhone is part of a new wave of social networking. Secret lets you post what's on your mind but lets you do it anonymously. Your friends can still see what you write, and the friends of your friends, and even the entire network if it becomes popular enough. You can all comment back and forth as well. Your friends just won't know you wrote it. (At least they won't be able to prove it!) Secret keeps your identity hidden behind generic avatars in an attempt to remove your inhibitions, your concerns about being judged or facing repercussions. But does it work?
When you first sign up for Secret, it asks for permission to access your contacts. It claims not to store them or use them for any purpose other than making sure you can see friends who are using Secret and vice-versa. It keeps you anonymous, so all anyone knows is that you're in each other's contacts. Not who any specific person is.
That's part of the whole premise of Secret — you can post photos and status updates to all your friends without revealing your actual identity. You can blur photos or darken them to cover your identity even further. Once you're done, just type what you want to say over the image or background and hit share.
They can comment on things and like them and you can view all interactions in the notifications section. You can also comment and like other people's posts.
One of the coolest parts about Secret is how posts are shared. The more people that interact with your posts, the more people see them. For example, if I like or interact with a post, it then feeds into my friends Secret timelines giving them a chance to interact with it and so on. Basically, it lets statuses that are popular and interesting go viral on their own while staying completely anonymous.
As you can imagine, Secret is incredibly voyeuristic. And yes, people talk about sex and love and drinking and doubts and all the other stuff you'd imagine. That makes it perfect for anyone who lives for social gossip and drama, but also people who are shy and want to share the things that concern and or get advice about the problems they have without risking exposure. Of course, some people have made a game out of guessing or figuring out what statuses belong to who, but that really only works if everyone is in on the game.
Beautiful interface that's simple and easy to use
Blur and darken effects let you add photos with a degree of mystery to them
You can unlink all your posts from your account in one tap if you want or need to
Sharing is handled smartly and makes sure that there are always more secrets for you to interact with
No way to add people anonymously from other social networks or invite them
The bottom line
Secret is gorgeous. And it can be addicting. It would be nice if Secret let us import Twitter or Facebook friends, though the agreements those companies insist on might make it impossible. As it sits right now, contact import just doesn't seem to create a large enough circle.
I recommend secret for anyone who wants or needs a consequence-free way to interact with friends and others on a social network. Sure, Secret will feed the drama and the creepers, but it will also provide a safe place for people who need help or just want to have a little fun.