You might have heard by now, there’s a new very successful app out there.
It’s called Post Secret and, like most successful ideas, it’s mindbogglingly simple. It’s so simple, in fact, it makes you laugh. Basically, what you do after downloading the app is you anonymously post secrets, share them with the world, discover secrets from other people and interact with them. Why didn’t you think of that?
But, more importantly, what makes a social network idea successful? What’s the thing that separates the winners from the losers in this ocean of chatter about Social Media, Social Networks and all apps that get born, grow or die each and every day?
Some say it’s all a matter of luck. Others say it’s all about having a bright idea at the right moment and amongst the right people. But aside from all this, I think Social Networking ideas that really make it are those that tap into basic human emotions.
Take Facebook, for example. Somehow, Facebook managed to turn almost 750 million of us into micro part time bloggers, because almost each day we find ourselves compelled to publish something on The Wall. Of course, all the stuff we post is, in fact, designed to make us look good. It’s our projection of ourselves. It’s what we want people to like about us. Each time we post something we are, in fact, looking for recognition. For confirmations. We are seeking attention. We need to be “liked”. And that is a basic human emotion.
Now, Post Secret is not exactly an app you can compare with Facebook. Not for some time, anyway. But if you look more closely at it and try to figure out how come it became “the #1 best-selling App in America (and Canada, apparently)” so fast, you will find that it too, fills a basic human emotion: the need to share your most intimate secrets, thoughts, fears. And, more than this, it allows you to do it anonymously. No strings attached.
“I want to be more than just your best friend but I can’t because I’m a girl… just like you.”
“If you ever hit me again, you’re going to be judged by 12; or carried by 6 – you decide.”
“All I want is to be skinny.”
“I’m 28 and I’m still a virgin.”
“There is enough data on this phone to end my marriage.”
This is the kind of stuff that people post in Post Secret. And this is the kind of stuff that gets replies & interest from other users. Some of it is boring, some of it is adult, and some of it is plain sick. Post Secret even has some kind of content warning, when you download the app. It’s kind of like a Tumblr environment, only more direct.
And it just might be that people responded so fast to it because most of us these days have more Facebook friends than… friends to confide in.
Are you using Post Secret? Or, should I say, do you have any real friends?