Secret Review – Two months after its launch on iOS, Secret has made its way to Android with a few subtle changes. A sort of social network cum confessional booth, the app enables users to post their innermost thoughts (known as ‘secrets’) anonymously. This means that you can say exactly what you like without the consequences, although abusive and defamatory posts are likely to be removed.
Ironically, for an app based around anonymity, it requires a stack of permissions and also demands your email address and phone number when you sign up – you can skip the number, but you won’t be able to see any of your friends’ secrets until you supply one. Still, with all the sent data being encrypted, your privacy should be protected – and if you’re concerned about something you’ve said, you can unlink yourself from all previous posts you’ve made. Once you’re signed up and verified, the app scans your phone’s contacts list to find any Secret-using friends.
If you have fewer than three, you supposedly aren’t able to see their posts (otherwise you might twig who’s making them). However, we found that they still appeared on the app’s notifications screen. Extra friends can be invited to join via contacts, Facebook or Twitter, so you should soon have enough, particularly if Secret really takes off. Naturally, to preserve anonymity, there’s no facility to manage your friends list manually. Unlike the iOS app, the main feed is divided into tabs for Friends and Explore, although you have to tap the tab headings rather than swiping between them. Under Friends you’ll see anonymous posts, in random order, made (or liked) by people in your contacts circle.
The Explore tab shows secrets from anyone in your area and popular posts worldwide. The ones with a location indicating they were sent from within 100 metres could compromise anonymity, however, even if posts are delayed. If you ‘heart’ a secret, it gets shared with your own circle and so it’s possible for posts to jump several circles and go viral; the most far-travelled or liked ones get a star icon. When posting a secret, you can swipe to change the background colour and texture, or use a photo – avoid one that may identify you! You are sent notifications when people like or comment on it – and if friends post new secrets, which can be viewed by tapping the top-left notifications icon.
Once you get used to the concept of Secret, it soon becomes an addictive experience and many of the posts are amusing. Of course, such an anonymous platform is bound to be open to abuse (though we didn’t see any), but any offensive posts can be flagged up via a menu that appears when you swipe left; this also offers options to share the secret, subscribe to it or remove it from your feed.
- Price: Free
- Designed for: Phone
- Requires Android: 4.1