Anonymous Social Apps Aren’t Too Gossipy – Or Anonymous – For Advertisers

Forbes › Parmy Olson

It’s hardly a secret anymore. Anonymous social apps like Secret and Whisper are among the hottest diversions to come out of Silicon Valley, showcasing streams of short confessions from your contacts list or the near vicinity. Users comment or “love” posts anonymously, and often keep scrolling to find that golden nugget, a startling insight into what people really think but won’t say on Twitter. The apps’ sudden popularity is a clear shift in the public mood toward “humblebragging” and posturing on social media.

Naturally, there’s been skepticism from Silicon Valley investors like Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital, of the staying power of Secret and Whisper, and whether they can make money through advertising. Part of the problem: mobile advertisers may not want to associate with much of the depressing, gossipy posts people upload to these apps.

Plus, wouldn’t all this anonymity make it harder to target users with ads?  It turns out the answer is “No,” according to the head of one the the worlds’ biggest ad networks.