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No ‘Secret’ Any Longer: Anonymous Sharing App Shuts Down

Secret, the anonymous social sharing app that was the darling of Silicon Valley in 2014, is shutting down. "Unfortunately, Secret does not represent the vision I had when starting the company," wrote co-founder David Byttow in a blog post, "so I believe it’s the right decision for myself, our investors and our team."

The app allowed anyone to post messages and images anonymously, either publicly or limited to people in their friend group who also had the app. Unfortunately, as with other anonymous sharing apps like Whisper and YikYak, a significant portion of posts were "defamatory, offensive, or mean-spirited," as Secret itself described them last year when attempting to quash the trash talk.

Yik Yak app under fire over bullying concerns 2:50

"I believe in honest, open communication and creative expression, and anonymity is a great device to achieve it," wrote Byttow. "But it's also the ultimate double-edged sword, which must be wielded with great respect and care."

Secret still has a good deal of money it raised from investors, which will be returned to them. Byttow said he plans to write up what went wrong and how over the next few weeks at the Secret blog.

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—Devin Coldewey