Secret & Whisper’s newest frenemy is Berri, a Facebook-fueled, anonymous burn book

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Amidst the carnage and bloodshed of anonymous social media, app Berri steps in with a white flag in hand.

Apps like Whisper and Secret have taken heat lately from both investors and parents questioning the service from an ethical standpoint. However, realizing the enduring demand for these services, a new social app named Berri has found a way to fix anonymous social’s greatest drawback.

In a move that seems like common sense, Berri has differentiated itself from competitors by strictly limiting a user’s postings to Facebook friends. In this way, it’s essentially an extension of a Facebook status without the elitism and social pressure that deters so many Facebook status updates.

Berri’s claim is that it offers a workaround to a serious and growing issue. Anonymous social media is a little like The Purge — nothing is off limits, and everyone is free game. Users churn out sensationalized posts and hack away at each other through the security anonymity. The service is definitely not appropriate for those with thin skin — which, to be honest, is every teenager ever.

A review of Whisper in the App Store put it well, “For those who have suffered from depression, I implore you not to get this app.”

Unfortunately, the problem with anonymity doesn’t stop there. Whisper and Secret have begun to develop a sort of Craigslist “casual encounters” element. According to a female reviewer in the App Store, after her first post on Whisper, her inbox was immediately flooded with men asking for her “A/S/L.” The solution to these problems is obvious. Simply restrict a user’s interactions and make their posts private.

Now, despite the apps advantages, Berri has a long road ahead of it. A common complaint with Whisper and Secret is that not enough users are actually using the app, and Berri wants to limit a user’s interactions even more.

In reality, if you only have five Facebook friends using Berri, it’s going to be painfully obvious who is behind each post. Before that app can be used as intended, Berri’s users will need to reach a threshold at which anonymity outweighs predictability. Depending on the user, that could be five or it could be fifty friends.

Another issue Berri will have to address is Facebook’s declining popularity with teens. The means of limiting an anonymous social circle shouldn’t be limited to Facebook. With the popularity of Kik and SnapChat, maybe future updates of Berri will allow users to connect to social messaging apps, or even just plain old cellular contacts.

More information:

Whisper is a free iOS and Android mobile app, and an associated paid online service, which allow users to send messages anonymously and receive replies. Users post messages which are displayed as text superimposed over an image, simila... read more »

Secret is a new way to share what you’re thinking and feeling with your friends, anonymously. Write anything that’s on your mind, free of judgment. Make your words stand out by adding a photo or color backdrop. Customize further ... read more »

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16 comments
Mike Lee
Mike Lee

You guys might want to checkout "ShareWhere", it's a new anonymous app and is really taking off in college campus's. 

Jamil Voss
Jamil Voss

So anonymity is a solution to fear and also aggressive reputation building, which is similar to fear/related to fear.

Eshaan Sharma
Eshaan Sharma

Just downloaded it -- wondering how it works :/

Rafael Kireyev
Rafael Kireyev

It is a strange thing. In fact, for me the anonymity is akin to fear. Fear should not be popular. Fear must be an exception. Otherwise, we can bring ourselves to wear masks in broad daylight.

chacha88 chacha88
chacha88 chacha88

TellM has exactly that feature already that allow users to connect to 'plain old cellular contacts'.

David Catalovski
David Catalovski

Forget about aspiring to cure cancer, just build the next Yo app and raise a mill.

Heather Meeker Haas
Heather Meeker Haas

Technology changing the world! First Yo & now Berri! Nice job people. We should be proud of our industry. We are really helping people here. Just awesome.

Terry Frewin Kluytmans
Terry Frewin Kluytmans

I thought Secret was deodorant and Whisper was pantyhose... Boy, how times change!! :)