In the last year or so, the anonymous app space has started grow, with a few main competitors fighting for downloads and doing what they can to make each other irrelevant.
As of now, only a few apps have gained much traction: Yik Yak, Secret, Whisper, Babbly, and Cloaq. Of these, one is gone forever, and in a year from now I see only one remaining.
The one that’s gonna be around for a while: Yik Yak.
Who killed Secret? Yik Yak.
Uh oh. And then there were four…
But back to the point. The anonymous app space is relatively new, and a potential barn burner could be out there, waiting to enter the field.
What makes this new take on social media so cutthroat? Well, they all do basically the same thing, and differentiating from each other is either a make or break situation for these companies.
If four or five competitors are doing the same thing, the first one to try to innovate is either going to force the others to copy them or they’ll create an ice float for themselves and the other competitors will be sipping champagne as the other guy gets whacked.
Unfortunately for Secret, they blatantly ripped off Yik Yak, and rather than that giving them a life preserver, the company started drowning. You copy Yik Yak, and you get the cement feet treatment.
Well, did the copying of Yik Yak kill off Secret or did it catch on too late and simply couldn’t recover? I think it was a bit of both.
Like I said before, the first one to innovate successfully would be the winner in the end, and the others would just lose momentum as they tried to keep up.
But since this market is so new, no one really knows which way to go; they don’t want to go one way and end up taking the wrong path, which then leads to the company’s demise. These companies are all looking around at each other, anxiously waiting for someone to make the next move.
If that next move seems to work, they’ll copy it too, and rather blatantly, just like Secret did when it copied the format and look of Yik Yak back in April, just before the company dissolved. Sadly for Secret, that wasn’t enough to keep people interested.
Consumers will quickly switch from one app to the next, looking for the one that they like, that fits their needs. If there are a few good options, it’ll be up to the features and pros and cons of each to help the consumer decide which one to download, and they usually go with the most popular one if they can’t decide.
The most popular anonymous app has always been Yik Yak, and it’s user base has been steadily increasing, while others don’t seem to be catching up very quickly.
People will flock to the app that a lot of other people are using, and in this case it happened to be Yik Yak. The competitors all seemed to be doing the same thing, but the user experience wasn’t good enough to keep them coming back, while Yik Yak had early users, a cool interface, and a cool community with people that made the app fun from the start.
Secret had none of these things, and it had trouble keeping up with Yik Yak, so eventually the company just started ripping off Yik Yak (other apps did this too; they’ve all taken bits from each other) in order to stay alive.
In the long run, this doesn’t work, and well, it didn’t work, since Secret is no longer a thing.
Did Yik Yak kill Secret, or did Secret just fail to kill Yik Yak? I think it’s the latter.
If Secret could have come up with some great idea or tool that it’s users would have loved, other people would have come to the app as well to check it out. The thing is, they didn’t do much of that, and they didn’t have any plans that were better than anything Yik Yak came up with.
At this stage in the anonymous app space, the competition is fierce, and one wrong move will get you out of the game, as we can all see. Following the leader will only get you so far, and if apps like Cloaq or Whisper don’t do something to raise the bar, I think Yik Yak is going to remain the king of anonymous apps for some time.
That being said, though, Yik Yak still needs to watch it’s back and make sure it’s still leading the field and innovating before competitors do. It helped Secret meet its demise, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t another app lurking in the shadows.
Check out this youtube video concerning the Secret App Shutdown