I’ve written before about the importance of “the first app you open in the morning”. But the truth is that there are about a half dozen apps that I check each and every morning. The first, currently Twitter, is the most important to me. But the other in that gang of six, all have the potential to displace the first one depending on the day.
I knew Secret was on to something special when it entered this gang of six.
Of course, I am but one person. The more telling sign that Secret was on to something was the fact that basically every person I talk to who has used the app has said or implied the same thing: the app is a must-check, and it’s incredibly sticky. And that includes people who say they hate Secret, by the way. I have this sneaking suspicion that those who “hate” the app, check it even more often than those who claim to love it.
It is still the very early days for Secret. But so few services reach this base level of importance to people, even at relatively small numbers, that the company seems to have a real opportunity to evolve into something truly great and meaningful.
That’s why it was a no-brainer for Google Ventures to team up with a group of existing investors (and a few new ones — and a few secret ones) to give the company more resources to continue on the journey.
I still recall the early days of Twitter and the desire to read every single tweet written by every single person I followed every single day. Later, the same was true with my Tumblr feed. I feel the same pull with Secret right now. I can’t stop reading until I find the first post I hearted from the last time I checked. More than a few times, this has made me late to something.1
That “read all” desire eventually became untenable with Twitter and Tumblr, of course. And I’m sure it will with Secret as well. But there’s something about content that’s so compelling that you don’t want to miss a thing. And there are multiple reasons many of us don’t want to miss the content on Secret: maybe it’s knowledge, maybe it’s help, maybe it’s titillation, maybe it’s the fact that everyone you know is going to be talking about it.
And the comments on that content add a layer that’s even more sticky. I, of all people, never thought I’d enjoy not only reading comments, but coming back to content just to read the comments!
Finally, I’ll say that while it’s the negativity on Secret that often gets headlines, there’s something far more powerful at play with regard to humanity. Increasingly, I’ll see a post start out with a negative intent, but be turned positive by the comments below it. The same seems to be true for surfacing the truth about a situation.
I think Secret’s unique commenting system and social graph are proving to serve as amazing tools of correction and moderation. It’s not perfect, but it’s something far greater than what I’ve seen out there. And, of course, it’s constantly improving.
Remember, the app is just 45 days old. Which is remarkable.
I’m weak. ↩