Secret Launches In China With A ‘Secret’ Partner, Adds Language Preferences As It Blows Up In Russia

Anonymous social sharing app Secret opened up to new users around the globe a few weeks ago, becoming available pretty much everywhere except China. The company corrected that this weekend, introducing an app for Chinese users with the help of a large partner that it’s keeping a secret.

“China is a special market, and one can’t expect to just put English product in China or simply translate it and call it a day. It takes a local team to build for the Chinese market. Usually this involves forming a joint-venture or some other arrangement,” co-founder David Byttow wrote in an email to TechCrunch.

Chinese tech blog Geekpark reported that the company had partnered with a large Chinese gaming company to introduce the app to the local market, but Secret isn’t commenting on the details of the partnership at this time.

In addition to China, it’s seen growth in other markets since its international launch a few weeks ago. For instance, the app has become incredibly popular in Russia, the former Soviet Republics, and surrounding countries.

Over the past few weeks, Secret has made it into the top 10 of all apps on the Apple App Store in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, and The Netherlands, according to App Annie. And it’s been highly ranked in the Social Media category for those countries and a number of others.

“Secret has caught on in Russia. It climbed to the #1 social network in a number of days. They really love it,” Byttow wrote.

The international growth has also led to a bit of a halo effect in the U.S., where its ranking has creeped into the top 50 apps for the Social Media category in the past week or so.

While that’s good news overall, the app’s popularity in different places around the world has led to an influx of foreign-language Secrets clogging up the feeds of its English-speaking users, which wasn’t a great user experience. (If you were like me, you were probably seeing dozens of Secrets in Russian alone.)

With a recent update, the company has enabled users to select which languages users would like to see Secrets in. Users can choose between English, Russian, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Japanese to start.

By deselecting languages, users will no longer see Secrets shared from those not in their network, but they could still see some shared by Friends and Friends of Friends. Byttow said the company was still tweaking how those are displayed.

Still, it makes a big difference when you’re not seeing a bunch of posts that you don’t understand.