Secret, an app for anonymous posts, shuts down

The app let users post comments to a feed without their names attached

Secret's logo, pictured April 29, 2015.

Secret's logo, pictured April 29, 2015.

Secret, an app for anonymous posts that initially attracted buzz but drew criticism after a redesign, is shutting down.

The company, also named Secret, formally launched its app last year and is said to have raised between US$33 million and $35 million in funding. "After a lot of thought and consultation with our board, I've decided to shut down Secret," CEO David Byttow said Wednesday in a blog post, who noted that the app does not represent the vision he had when starting the company.

Secret had attracted over 15 million users, he said in the post. Byttow will spend the next couple weeks winding down Secret, he said. Funding will be returned to investors.

As of Wednesday the app was still available in the Google Play and Apple App stores. The company did not immediately respond to comment further.

Secret let its users post comments to a feed like they would a status update on Facebook, but without their names attached. The app attracted attention early last year, as it was one of the first to pick up steam among a growing cadre of similar apps like Whisper and Yik Yak.

For a while, the app was a popular hot spot full of intimate details about people's dating and work lives. The app also grappled with abusive content.

In July of last year, Secret launched a unique integration with Facebook. The update let Secret weave in more posts from users' friends on Facebook, but without identifying which Facebook friend the posts came from.

Then in December, Secret received a major redesign that stripped out some of its visual elements and changed other functions. Some critics called it a rip-off of Yik Yak's app. In January, Secret's co-founder left.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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