Vavia Technologies launches ‘Confess’ app to challenge ‘Secret’
Bangalore: Bangalore-based start-up Vavia Technologies Pvt Ltd has launched an application called Confess that helps you to—well, confess. Anything. Anonymously.
The beta version, launched on 18 July, saw about 5,000 downloads in 24 hours. “The response has been great, and we are expecting more than 100,000 downloads this week, which will be the first week of launching it on Google Play,” Alan D’Souza, chief executive and founder of Vavia Technologies, said in an interview on 20 July.
How does Confess work? Users can confess and read other peoples’ confessions. These confessions are divided across various categories, like betrayal, envy, failure, and hate. Users can do more than just observe--they can choose to vote if a confession deserves a pardon. Or not.
Secret’s concept is the same—users can share any secret. Anonymously. And they can also read secrets of friends or friends of friends. For the ones seeking more fun, the “explore” option lets users read secrets from all over the world. Comments and likes are allowed. Add to this, one can share, subscribe, flag or remove secrets.
The application does have its limitations, though.
“I love Secret, but it is frustrating. I cannot search for posts that interest me, there is no search functionality,” said one anonymous user on the platform.
It is here that D’Souza hopes to score over Secret. Confess, he said, can show popular posts and posts from the same neighbourhood—whether you are friends with the person or not. It also allows users to create anonymous groups—similar to forum threads—that anybody can join. Another interesting feature is the integrated chat applet that enables one-to-one interaction between users.
There are other apps like Whisper ChatHunt that are social platforms where users can post and answer questions anonymously, but Confess and Secret are the most similar in terms of functionalities.
The similar sounding Anonyfish is an anonymous messaging website, not an app.
Building apps is not new to D’Souza. Vavia Technologies was founded by D’Souza and Abhinay Reddy when they were still engineering students in 2006. The company has built multiple products like DiscountPandit, a coupon searching website, and txtBroswer, an SMS-based search engine for feature phones, over the last eight years.
Though DiscountPandit shut down in early 2008, txtBrowser has been quite successful and processed 300 million SMS queries.
“Confess has been one of the most entertaining apps I’ve used till date,” said Abhijit D.J., one of the beta users and an engineering college student in Bangalore. “It was surprising to see the content my friends were posting anonymously. It was like I was getting to know my friends all over again. Also, the local confessions is an amusing feature in this app.” The app shows the tag “Friend” or “Friend of friend” when it is posted by friends circles.
Mobile apps are expected to see more than 268 billion downloads and generate revenue of over $77 billion by 2017, becoming one of the most popular computing tools, according to technology research firm Gartner.
For anonymity-driven apps that want to achieve success, tech-savvy consumers say there are multiple challenges to overcome before they get there.
“I have a feeling unless many new functionalities or active moderation creeps into these anonymous, no-identity apps, posts on them will just become full of explicit content. Four days on Secret showed me that,” said Rishabh Kaul, head of business development, Grey Orange Pte Ltd.