August 1, 2017Published by: Fereshta Amir

Sarahah: the new anonymous messaging app on the block

Looks like there's a new messaging app in town that could shake things up and compete with the likes of WhatsApp and Yik Yak. Sarahah, a relatively unknown app, caught our attention last week, when it soared to the top of rankings of the most-downloaded apps in the UK, USA, Australia and Ireland. So what is Sarahah and what does it do?

Sarahah was created by Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq as a social network that allows its users to send and receive anonymous messages. Built with the idea that people are more willing to be honest when their messages are anonymous, the app markets itself as a place where honest feedback can be received from employees and friends in a private manner. In fact, Sarahah is the Arabic word for honesty and frankness.

Yet, what started as an app for honest feedback in the Arab-speaking regions, has quickly turned into a popular messaging app among English-speaking teenagers. According to Mashable, one of the main reasons for this sudden spike is Snapchat's latest update that lets users post links to websites inside of snaps. A few days after this, Sarahah's popularity spiked and reached a new level, as Snapchatters started linking to Sarahah in their snaps.

Sarahah has over 14 million registered users and is getting more than 20 million unique visitors a day between the app and website. With anonymity being central to the app, concerns have already been raised about cyberbullying and trolls on the platform. It will be interesting to see if Sarahah can continue to soar whilst avoiding cyberbullying, something that predecessors like Ask.fm, Secret and Whisper could not balance as well.

While we wait to see what happens, you can join us in playing around on Sarahah. If you want to send me a message: I'm fairyamir on the app.

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