Secret’s about to get more secretive with upcoming app update

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Secret, the iPhone app that is supposed to let users share secrets anonymously, is nowhere nearly as anonymous as it first appears. But an upcoming update to the app is looking to beef up the app’s anonymity, by banning real names, preventing users from uploading images on their Camera Roll, and the addition of a new polling feature.

In a post explaining the changes, Secret’s developers explain the decision to move away from real names.

We’ve learned that the vast majority of great secrets don’t have names in them, and the few that do usually aren’t productive and can even be harmful. We’ve changed our position on the use of real names and, in addition to discouraging their use, we’re actively blocking posts containing names of private individuals whenever possible. We will invest heavily here to make sure the system improves over time.

Another change in Secret is that users can no longer use images from their Photo Library, although they can still use images they take in real-time. This seems to be another decision made to protect user privacy. Replacing the ability to use Photo Library images in your Secrets is Flickr integration, which allows you to search and pull images from Yahoo’s online photo database to illustrate your Secret posts instead.

Finally, there’s the new polling option: a way to post secrets that are simple “Yes” or “No” questions, to get feedback from your Secret social network in real-time.

Secret’s new update isn’t out for iOS yet, but it should be out next week. We’ll let you know when it lands.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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