Secret sharing app Whisper has seen tremendous growth since launching last fall. But until recently, it’s only been available on iOS. With a launch on Android’s Google Play store this week, Whisper is going to be available to a whole bunch of new users, particularly in its key demographic of young adults aged 18-24.
Whisper, in case you don’t know, is an ultra-hot app designed for easily sharing secrets anonymously with other users. It’s like PostSecret for mobile phones, allowing users to upload or search for images online and then add text messages on top of them. Whispers are shared with all users of the app, and the most popular are surfaced based on the number of hearts or responses received from other users.
In addition to public responses, Whisper users can also privately message each other, as long as they’re willing to pay for the feature. That not only keeps the amount of marketing down, but it also provides a way for users to connect with other users that they wouldn’t have otherwise known.
The app continues to grow phenomenally fast. When we checked in with Whisper, there were about a billion page views on the app per month. That’s up to about 1.5 billion per month now, according to co-founder Michael Heyward. Messaging on the app, which makes up the bulk of Whisper’s revenues, is growing even faster. Heyward said there’s essentially zero churn among users who sign up — and pay — for messaging.
“Any time there’s a new person that enlists in that feature, we grow it at a more exponential rate,” he told me. As a result, there are more than millions of messages being passed around privately among users.
While Whisper has seen pretty fantastic growth over the last several weeks, being on iOS limited the app’s addressable market. That’s especially true since Whisper’s most important user base — those between the ages of 18 and 24 — tend to overindex on Android devices. As a result, Heyward believes that its iOS app could only access approximately 40 percent of its most important audience.
With that in mind, the team worked around the clock to get its Android app released. It initially started work on the app about six weeks ago, looking to replicate all the features and functionality of its popular iOS app.
The Android app first hit Google Play earlier this week and received about 50,000 downloads in the first 48 hours — all without any real promotion from the company. More importantly, the engagement levels with early Android users have been on par with or better than iOS usage. For instance, about 40 percent of initial Android users have created Whispers already.
Whisper has raised $3 million in funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from investors like Trinity Ventures, Shoedazzle founder Brian Lee, and Flixster’s Joe Greenstein. The company now has 14 employees, but Heyward says they’re looking to add a few more hires over the coming weeks.