Secret App Now Connects to Facebook, So Get Ready for Rumors to Fly
An app that's a weird combination of PostSecret, Silicon Valley, and Formspring just got bigger. On Monday, the Secret app connected to Facebook and raised $25 million in venture capital financing as part of a huge push to expand, according to The New York Times. The app, which launched earlier this year, was already kind of a hit among techies in Silicon Valley, but it previously connected using your phone number and your contact list. If you didn't live and work in the Valley, it was usually extremely boring.
That's about to change — or at least Secret's hoping so. In a post from the company on Medium, the company announced a handful of features meant to entice a broader user base, and the biggest one by far is Facebook connectivity. Here's why, according to the company:
Facebook Login has been our top requested feature, for good reason. Our community members want more friend content in their stream, beyond simply the contacts from their phone. Facebook Login gives any user the option to (completely anonymously) connect Secret to Facebook and populate your stream with Facebook friends.
They also announced Secret Collections, a curated gallery of Secrets you can browse online, PostSecret-style, except it's dotted with mentions of Wikipedia edits and DevTools.
They're admittedly entertaining in a PostSecret kind of way, and as more people join the service they'll undoubtedly get more shareable. But the app's really best known for exposing secrets relating to bigwigs in the tech world itself, and as its web of users gets bigger, that might become less of a defining feature. A similar app, Whisper, already does much of what Secret's now doing, but doesn't have quite the same cachet as trendy Secret. That's partly because with Secret, you only share with friends and friends of friends, meaning you may actually know the person who posted that tantalizing missive.
For example, TechCrunch wrote in February that the site was becoming "Silicon Valley's New Blind Item," citing as a top example a secret from someone purporting to be an employee at Evernote who said the company was about to get acquired. (It didn't happen.) Another said "I may have made a $100 million mistake," TechCrunch reported. These are the site's most tantalizing secrets and perhaps the app's most distinctive feature, but the sauciest and most reliable secrets seem to have a necessarily insular audience.
People also tended to use the site to complain about how awful working in Silicon Valley is.
Secret promises Facebook users that it'll keep their data, well, secret, but Wired wrote earlier this year that both Whisper and Secret make exceptions for turning information over to law enforcement. So don't get too crazy out there.