The Secret’s Out: Secret’s Dead

So it was announced today that Secret is shutting down. Part of me is completely shocked, and another isn’t all that surprised. Secret has had a lot of problems over the last year and frankly, I haven’t seen them do anything to fix any of them.

The Fuckups

1. Yet, like Yik Yak did, Secret encountered a lot of criticism over the issue of cyberbullying. As far as I’m concerned as a spectator and casual user, Secret never really addressed any of these issues. Cyberbullying continued to plague the service (at least that’s what I heard from other users), and I never really saw any major PR campaign by Secret to really dispel any of the criticism. In my opinion, that was their first major mistake.

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New Secret Redesigned Logo (left) and Yik Yak Logo (right); photo courtesy of TechCrunch
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New Secret Redesigned Best/Hot Page (left) and Yik Yak Page (right); photo courtesy of TechCrunch

What They Should Have Done

Here’s what I think Secret should have done over the last year:

  1. They should not have shamelessly cloned Yik Yak’s design. It was painfully obvious to everyone (even non-users), and pretty much tarnished their reputation. They came across as having no vision for their company, and as preferring to copy one of their competitors rather than do the hard work to underscore and highlight their unique qualities. The major redesign had to cost a pretty solid amount of money. I would have used that money instead for the cyberbullying problem, and put it towards the solution and PR campaign outlined above.
  2. This is the biggest kicker: they should have pulled back the “redesign” within a week and admitted their huge mistake. People understand and respond to others who act in humble and human ways, even if that means sometimes making mistakes. By not admitting their major blunder, Secret pretty much alienated the rest of their userbase.

Why Are They Giving Up? Where’s the Fight?

That is all that it would have taken to convey to me that the people at Secret are human and have the best intentions. It would have confirmed for me that the leadership at Secret is committed to succeeding as themselves, and not trying to as someone else. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, and now Secret’s hitting the deadpool.

Master Relationship Builder & Networking Consultant 🚀 | prev. CEO @glipple | Published @crunchbasenews, @Startup Grind, @Mattermark| Humorist & music addict

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