Why are you Whispering?

Want to tell an embarrassing story or admit something you don’t want following you?  Then you are the exact audience apps like Whisper and Secret, which allow you to post anonymously, while also letting you chat with other users, thrive on.  This kind of social media platform is almost the exact opposite of Facebook and Twitter, where everything is linked back to your personal profile, and yet is growing in popularity.  So what does that mean for social media marketing?  And what does it mean for social media as a whole?

Unlike other social media platforms, apps like these are not good for marketing.  Promoting businesses and services isn’t as easy or acceptable on such an app, because not only can you not follow other users, but sponsored content is easily ignored and overlooked.  Not only that, but targeting users is almost impossible–there aren’t any filters and although Whisper does tag and categorize posts, the app does that on its own and can be very hit or miss.

But this is also a large part of the allure.  There isn’t any sponsored content to dig through, ads on the sidebar, or marketing to affect your social media experience.  It’s also pretty close to anonymous, where you don’t have to maintain a profile to stay relevant on the app.  You can passively enjoy secrets and whispers, or you can actively post.  Unlike Facebook, where some people feel pressure to consistently update their profiles and show off in their personal lives, these apps don’t produce the same pressure to perform.

Does this mean social media as we know it is dying?  Certainly not.  Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more are still thriving, and they still rely on the idea of an updated profile that allows you to follow other users and target your content.  Unlike Whisper or Secret, these platforms still help people to cultivate their online personas, and thus will never entirely go away.  If anything, the novelty of the “anonymous” apps is what is driving the increase in usage, and although social media will continue to evolve and change, this is not the future.

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