“Anonymous socializing suits China particularly well.” Secret’s Operation Direct in China Eva Li said this morning at 2014 TechCrunch China/TechNode conference in Beijing.
The anonymous app gained enormous popularity not just in the US but has also topped social apps ranking in Israel and Brazil.
In explaining why Secret feeds into Chinese people’s social habit, Eva drew parallels between what Secret offers, and what young Chinese look for in their socializing experience. LBS-empowered, Secret lets people unveil confidential information anonymously to people nearby. It also establishes “a level of trust among strangers”, said Li, by letting people explore posts in a relatively intimate circle – one’s friends or friends’ friends. This feeds young people’s need to gossip, break news, kill time, and highly likely, hook up.
Eva pointed out that Secret has established a team in China that runs individually from other English-speaking regions. The reason for that is China has a lot of “subcultures,” for example, China’s post-90s generation. The “anonymous but familiar” social circle fits these young people’s desire to show off, self-mock, and entertain masked acquaintances who understand their punchlines.
As expected the issue of copy-to-China was raised, as China has seen a dozen Secret clones. Eva said that Secret welcomed competition but would reject outright clones and hold them liable for legal responsibility.