Anonymity made Internet popular. The belief started evaporating with the world objecting to the powers of being anonymous. A year back, social networking giants talked about how much they believe in genuine and verified profiles. But, looks like anonymity is back again!
With the growing popularity of mobile anonymous apps such as Whisper, Secret, Babbly among others, anonymity is here to stay (For a complete guide to anonymous apps, read Kevin Roose’s article at New York). The freedom to talk and gossip about anything has also motivated Bangalore based startup Vavia Technologies Pvt Ltd. to build a similar anonymous app called Confess. The app clearly states that it is all about unconscious confessions in a guilt free manner.
The beta version launched on 18th July saw about 5000 downloads in 24 hours, shared Alan D’Souza, chief executive and founder of Vavia Technologies with Live Mint. I haven’t yet tried using any of the anonymous apps; I downloaded the Confess Android app to start with and must confess that the app is bound to win eyeballs for its ease and simplicity.
After downloading the app from the Google Play store, users are asked to log in via Facebook or Google. I opted for Facebook and in a matter of seconds, I was in with the below screen grab popping up as the home page.
The screen grab shows you three big tabs at the top which are the different content feeds of the app. I am yet to add friends on the app so I clicked on Local and Popular. Local pulls up content based on location. If you scroll through the stream you will find distance mentioned at the bottom of the every confession made by user. My guess is that the social logins are providing the details on the distance, may be a question to the founder.
The below screen grab gives you a quick look of the confessions being populated on Popular - confessions that are getting attraction.
Tap on any confession that you would like to interact. Comment, show love for the thought, invite friends to the discussion from other networks and messaging the author are the available features. Besides one can show love to the comments being shared by others too.
Tap on the extreme top left to open the slider for the list of additional available features in the app. My Confessions, Post a Confession, Messages are some of the worth mentioning features which are self explanatory too. A user can add a confession from the home page by tapping on the tiny pencil icon on the top most right hand corner. Search is an interesting feature. It allows the user to look for content of her interest area. Just as I did for startups and the below screen gives you a quick glance.
Do we need another anonymous app?
Confess scores points for its simplicity and ease as stated earlier. The app had no glitches, was fairly easy to understand and use.
Features like local and popular throws up the interesting confessions going on in the app. Messaging is a feature that should excite users to download the app and converse one on one being anonymous. Features like deleting a comment or confession need to be added on the app. Besides the Founder speaks about the ability to form groups but I couldn’t find any such feature in the app. Perhaps, the forthcoming release will have it.
But the big question remains - do we need yet another anonymous app when we already have enough of them fighting with similar offerings? What is the value proposition of Confess app? I had discussed the same while debating the thought process behind launching similar apps like YO! after it met with overnight success. Confess could have been a brilliant app if it had pioneered the anonymous apps.
Nevertheless, Confess now has more than 5000 downloads on Android with an iPhone app soon to be launched. Time will tell if it can keep drawing users to make random confessions without revealing their identity.
Do give Confess a try and let us know how was the experience. By the way any Indian VC interested in betting on an Indian anonymous app as we are seeing a similar trend in the Valley?