There is currently a growth in a new style of social networks/communication services – Anonymous social networking. These services are a bit like SnapChat and WhatApp, with a twist, you don’t know who you are chatting with.
While the statement “you don’t know who you are chatting with” could be made for many social networking sites, these new services, Secret, Whisper and YikYak, are actually designed to prevent you from knowing who is posting.
Each does this a different way.
Secret primarily shows you posts made by people in your phone contacts, but provides no way of knowing who the posts are from or a way of privately contacting them. Whisper on the other hand has nicknames that can be changed as often as the users want and once you delete a conversation you have no way of “searching” for a specific user.
As if these services weren’t already a major risk in the workplace with the likes of bullying, discrimination, breeches of confidence etc. Secret this week introduced a new feature “Secret Dens” which focuses on anonymous sharing in the workplace (or in schools is you believe it)!
According to a post on their web site:
Secret Dens brings a new layer to your Secret stream, giving you a private, company-specific Den to share anything you’re thinking —kept within the walls of your workplace.
Our invite-only pilot of Dens follows an experiment at Secret HQ, where the 16 of us can share anything and everything we want?—?just with our team. After enjoying our inside jokes, updates and secrets in our Den over the last month, we’re confident that any company will love having one of its own.
While I can see the ability to use these “Secret Dens” for collaboration given they are within the workplace the issues around bullying, discrimination, breaches of confidence etc exponentially increase in size. It will be interesting to see how the feature is used and if “traditional” internal social networking tools like Jive, Yammer and Jam look at introducing similar functionality.