Hot anonymous social network Secret has just pushed an update for its app that addresses a number of issues and improves performance. The new version allows users to subscribe or unsubscribe to any Secret post by swiping left, adds flagging of content that might be inappropriate, enables unlinking (more below on what that means), and speeds up the process of “hearting” posts.
These updates add a lot of highly requested features to Secret, which has attracted a lot of attention based on its sometimes scandalous, titillating and potentially newsmaking content. To date, however, it has offered only fairly limited functionality, with a basic stream and notifications when someone in your direct network shares something, plus updates pushed whenever someone comments or interacts with content you’ve shared. The ability to subscribe means you can keep up with threads and posts you find interesting, even if you don’t engage with them directly.
Flagging is another oft-mentioned feature when it comes to Secret criticism. Some have suggested that Secret might be used for bullying, and there is definitely some content I’ve seen that could be potentially damaging to the reputation or livelihood of certain individuals. Secret founders David Byttow and Chrys Bader previously promised to offer more privacy controls for users, and this is a good example of exactly that kind of feature.
Another big improvement from a privacy perspective is the new Unlinking option, which allows you to remove “any association between you and all of your previous posts on our servers.” That means you won’t be able to comment on those posts as author, get notifications, or delete them, but it also means you can’t be tied to them at all.
UI improvements include the ability to swipe right to ‘love’ or ‘heart’ posts, and a way to not only delete your own posts, but also remove ones from others you don’t want to see in your stream.
This update also helps progress Secret’s efforts to foster communication between users. Subscriptions give users many more reasons to come back to the app, and to treat the network as more than just a Twitter-style stream of content that appears and disappears with a relatively short lifespan.
One complaint I’ve heard about Secret from users who don’t necessarily have large, Silicon Valley-based address books to draw a pool of contacts from is that the stream doesn’t update frequently enough: Letting users pay closer attention to the discussions going on within posts is a good way to make even smaller networks seem more active, too.
The update should be appearing shortly for all those with the app installed.