Saturday, April 26, 2014

Juicy Growth

The Secret app home page
There's a new app that allows tattlers to divulge secrets without being traced back to them (supposedly).

The app seems to be ripe for abuse by hoaxers, but since one only shares information within one's Contacts, quality control can presumably be exercised because you, dear reader, only have trustworthy friends, right?

(Secret's operating rules are interesting. "Your secrets are delivered anonymously to the people in your Contacts who are on Secret", but you don't know which of them are subscribers unless you tell them. Also, secrets are not divulged unless the group has a sufficient number of members to protect the sharer's anonymity.)

Time technology reporter Harry McCracken says that the app is finally living up to its promise of being "a source of juicy news about the tech industry."
First, a user posted that Nike was going to slash the staff responsible for its FuelBand wearable gizmo. That turned out to be true. And then someone–presumably a different someone–posted that Vic Gundotra, the Google executive in charge of Google+, was job hunting. That secret also panned out.
Before investment bankers and stock traders sign up to swap (illegal) inside information, it does seem possible that Secret's founder-administrators could with some effort trace posts back to the originator, especially if they are motivated by a court order.

Even if certain types of information-sharing are barred, there's plenty of "juicy" stuff that people are dying to share. Secret's near-term growth seems assured. [Update: Secret's servers are out of the reach of foreign governments, so the real growth opportunity may be outside the U.S.]

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