IF you crave randomness, something unexpected or even a little scandalous gossip, some intriguing apps can help. Secret, free on iOS and Android, is best known for receiving random information. Users can share content anonymously, which encourages airing information or feelings that might not otherwise be shared. Think of it as the anti-Facebook: Where you may see “Ana has shared something” on Facebook, on Secret you get a few lines of text without knowing who published it.
There are two tabs when you open the app: Explore and Friends. The Explore tab is where posts are shared with everyone, and where you find all sorts of unexpected personal confessions and gossip from around the world. If you see an interesting post you can “like” it and subscribe to see more posts from the same user. You can also look for posts from near your own location instead of from everywhere.
The Friends tab takes you to a smaller sharing circle. Here the app uses some personal info (like your phone number) to show you content that has been shared by people in your phone’s contact list. The promise is that you and your friends remain anonymous and your personal details will not be shared. This part of the app has a totally different feel because the content can be more relevant and intriguing.
Sharing your own secrets takes just a few taps, and you can decorate them with a background image or colour, and even tag them so people have a general sense of where you are writing from. Secret’s interface is slick and easy to use. But it can be a little unsettling to read some of the things posted there, especially in the Friends tab, knowing that it was written by someone you know. That frisson is also what makes Secret exciting, and why it is so popular.
If Secret is too scandalous for your taste, you might try Whisper, another offering on iOS and Android. People seem to share more personal musings or simple facts on Whisper, covering everything from “I’m lonely” to “I stole the last piece of pie from my office fridge.”
You can filter to see popular posts, recent posts or those from near your location. You can also search for words that interest you, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, chat anonymously with someone. Like Secret, Whisper is mainly about sharing text. But when you’re sharing a “whisper” of