Whisper

Whisper

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Updated Jul 31, 2021 at 02:31PM EDT by Jel.

Added Feb 25, 2014 at 04:39PM EST by Molly Horan.

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About

Whisper is a mobile application that allows users to anonymously share secrets in the form of captioned images, similar to confession blogs like PostSecret or advice animals like Confession Bear and Confession Kid.

History

In March 2012, the app was conceived by Michael Heyward and Brad Brook as a sort of anti-Facebook, where people would share their secrets instead of bragging about good things in their life.[2] In November that year, the app was officially launched.

Funding

On April 4th, 2013, the tech news blog TechCrunch[6] reported that Whisper had received $3 million in funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners as well as others investors such as Trinity Ventures. On September 4th, TechCrunch[7] announced Whisper had received an addition $21 million in funding.

Features

The app, which is free to download from the iTunes or Google app store, allows anyone to post an anonymous message in the form of an image macro or respond to messages posted by others, however, its private messaging service requires a monthly fee of $5.99. The app was initially anonymous with no way to directly contact other users. Semi-anonymous usernames and direct messaging were later implemented. From August 2012 to October 2013, Whisper curated a weekly "secrets" slideshow series on The Huffington Post's teen section,[1] presenting a slideshow of ten secrets related to each week's special theme.

Reception

As of August 2013, the app was receiving 2.5 billion page views every month.[8] As of January 2014, Whisper has an user base that's 30% male and 70% female, with only 10% of their users outside the US. It has a very active user base, with 45% of users creating a secret post at least once a day. As of February 2014, its Facebook page[3] has over 182,000 likes and its Twitter account[4] has over 2,000 followers.

Notable Examples


accidentalucexčedimu bossaskinq her ior weed whisperOF found my Fathers journa from when l was little He loved me a lot more then than he does now. whisperMY PARENTS DONT KNOW IFAILED OUT OF SCHOOL whisperbes have made manu lire choices to cater to the happiness of mydog whisperMumother treats mu Friends more like he daughters than her actual daudhter whisperMY SECRETO M ABSOLUTELY ADDICTED TO SEXTING NO ONE KNOWS IT AND IT FEEL LIKE IF PEOPLE HEYID JUDCE KNEWA THEY D JUDGE whisperproduct almost everu dau at the storel work.at, an the worst part is lknovw m E00 appreciacedibuimu boss and good at i boge cau whisperMu secret? Mybrother is in jail For bout the Fiith time and m done. Just done. Famil is so F----- up and I have no one Cčo Calk Co aboubIE because it s asecret whisperamain whisperChinkld do completelu mad llt wasnE For mUSIC whisperm lookins For love G0my parencsbyjsaying lets get one thing straightc.im. motenGUD mno RIDICU INCONVE CONSU NT LVE-WITHOUT-EACH-OTHER whisper彩 ače IC When people Cel me Im too pretty co save my virginity for marriage. Like what does that even mean? Just sto whisper

Criticisms

Privacy Concerns

Some users have raised concerns that their messages might not stay anonymous. On January 24th, 2014, Forbes[5] published a post titled "3 Reasons To Be Wary Of Secret-Sharing App Whisper's Claim To Anonymity," which examined concerns of possibilities that Whisper might try create viral content out of its submissions, could introduce ads, and the fact that it keeps tabs on users to enforce its rules means the app is technically not anonymous.

Location Tracking

On October 16th, 2014, The Guardian[9] published an investigative article asserting that the mobile app tracks the location of its users, including those who have explicitly opted out of the geolocation feature.

  • Storage of user metadata, including information about the precise time and approximate location of all previous messages, for an indefinite period of time in a searchable database;
  • History of sharing information with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Defense and the British intelligence agency M15;
  • Planned development of an import version of the app that would be in compliance with Chinese censorship laws;
  • Selective monitoring and location tracking of users that are deemed potentially newsworthy or subjects of interests, including U.S. military personnel and other individuals believed to be employees of Capitol Hill, Disney and Yahoo.

The article was also accompanied by two screenshots of the company's in-house mapping tool in operation, one of a Google Maps image of the White House in Washington D.C. that has been marked with numerous pins indicating the location of the users in the vicinity of the building, and another Google Maps screenshot of users who have posted nearby the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Maryland (shown below).


The white House, Pennsylvania Aven… Search Text All Show Replies o Im so cad this app is anonumOus The press would have a gad this appis Fieldday /theuknew some of the stuff I post Whisper Map National Security Agency,Fort Meade Search Text Show Replies Baker St SecuntrA mary Ad Emory Rd Emory Rd Map dita 02014 Gsogle Terms of use

Search Interest

External References

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