Deciphering Sarahah, a social media app which is all about anonymity
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A new messaging app Sarahah has taken the social media world by storm. Developed by Saudi Arabia-based developer ZainAlabdin Tawfiq, the app has already been downloaded over 5 million times on Google Play Store. It is also available on App Store and desktop.
What has got youngsters hooked to it is the option to send anonymous messages “to help friends discover their strength and weaknesses”.
It is free to download and like most social media apps asks users to create a profile with a username, email ID and a password to keep communications secure. What sets it apart from a WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is the one-way interaction where users can leave a message for a friend or a colleague while keeping their identity anonymous. Sarahah keeps the identity of the senders hidden unless they want to reveal it.
Unlike other social media platforms, users don’t have to send or accept friend requests. All they need is to find the friend’s profile on the app. To ensure your profile can be discovered easily, users can add a photo or share their profile names on Facebook or Twitter.
The person getting the message can see it in the Received section of the app. The app has a simple layout. There is no option to share pictures or videos which makes it lighter on the resources. The app launches quickly and loads pages faster.
Sarahah is similar to the social media app called Secret which has been discontinued now. It allowed users to send messages to their friends or friends of friends, while keeping their own identity anonymous. It was also being used by marketers to put their ad campaigns.
Sarahah’s usefulness is based on the premise that people are more honest with their comments when they don’t have to reveal their identify to share a message. It allows them to put their viewpoint without spoiling their relationship with others.
But there is always a darker side of such apps. The anonymity factor can encourage people to slander, bully or send threatening messages to someone they don’t like. To protect users against this, Sarahah gives the option to block unauthorised users from sending messages to them. This feature can be accessed in Profile->Settings.