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Psst… Secret’s founders say the app is getting private chat.
Anonymous post-sharing app Secret plans to follow in Snapchat’s footsteps and debut its own native private chatting feature. This is according to its cofounders, David Byttow and Chrys Bader-Wechseler, who took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt today to discuss their app.
Right now, Secret users who want to move their conversations into a more private setting rely on third-party app Anonyfish. Anonyfish was created by serial entrepreneur Philip Kaplan as a complementary service to Secret, a way for Secret users to communicate with each other without relinquishing anonymity. It encrypts these private messages, and requires that Anonyfish users first share their screen names with each other elsewhere in order to chat.
“I noticed that people were creating one-off Gmail accounts to talk to people from Secret, and I thought that was a waste,” Kaplan told the New York Times.
Secret’s competitor, Whisper, already has its own native chatting app, and Secret is no longer satisfied to shunt its users’ private conversations onto a third party. Discussing Anonyfish onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt, Bader-Wechseler and Byttow revealed Secret is planning its own native chat feature.
This could kill Anonyfish. The app can work for other social networks, but since it was created for Secret and primarily used by Secret users, it’s unlikely to continue growing without its primary feeding app. Then again, it’s just a side project for Kaplan, while Byttow and Bade-Wechseler intend to grow Secret and keep it in competition with rivals like Whisper.
Secret already expanded its feature roster since its debut earlier this year, adding a “Nearby” feature that pulls up posts from people in your area. A chat feature would be an even larger change for the app, introducing a new mode of communication currently only available if you download a separate app.
H/T TechCrunch | Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III
Kate Knibbs is a notable tech reporter and pop culture essayist. A former staff writer for the Daily Dot, her work has appeared in Gizmodo, the Ringer, AV Club, Digital Trends, Popular Mechanics, and Time.