Anonymous apps are gaining in popularity, attracting the attention of children and teenagers due to the anonymous aspect, giving them the opportunity to pour their hearts out without fear of being identified by their audience. Apps like Whisper and Secret have huge audiences because of this, with Whisper estimated to get 3.5 billion views on a monthly basis, writes social media expert Tamara Littleton for Econsultancy. With Whisper, users can post short, anonymous messages and anyone seeing them can respond. Secret allows users to post anonymous messages to anyone on their mobile phone’s contact list.
Given the popularity of such apps, it is no wonder that brands are starting to tap this new channel with varying success. Online video streaming provider Hulu, for instance, tried to use Whisper to market its new comedy series Deadbeat. It immediately attracted a lot of comments from users imitating the ad and complaining that they have to see it. Universal Studios also tried to use the anonymous app to promote its movie Endless Love, but the campaign ended up flooding users with hashtags and adverts.
The key thing to remember, Littleton notes, is that the anonymity of such apps means users regard them as a personal space, and seeing adverts in this space feels like some form of invasion. Instead of invading this personal space, brands can become listeners on these platforms and gain potentially valuable insights into the real and true attitudes of the users in regards to their products and services that often go unmentioned on other social networks.