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Sarahah app goes viral

The new messaging service that has exploded in popularity across the Arab world since early this year, Sarahah is named after the Arabic word for "honesty" and allows users to send and receive messages anonymously from people in their social networks.


It was created by a Saudi programmer, Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, who says the site has garnered more than 270 million views and 20 million users in just a few weeks since launch in January. 


Sarahah app - How it works


You create a Sarahah profile, which anyone can visit. Even without logging in, people can visit your profile and leave messages, anonymously. If they have logged in, messages are still anonymous by default, but users can choose to tag their identity. On the receivers app, all the incoming messages show up in an inbox, and you can flag messages, delete them, reply, or favourite them to find them easily later.


Though viral and very popular in a short span, it's quite polarising. For instance, although it currently has 10,305 5-star reviews on Google Play, it's also got 9,652 1-star reviews, showing a near 50-50 split in opinion. The makers refer to it by saying: Sarahah helps people self-develop by receiving constructive anonymous feedback.


The fact that anonymity enables people to act out and behave in hurtful ways without consideration for consequences. Even positive reviews on the App Store still warn that this app is not for the weak hearted.


The developers are also looking at ways to improve the experience. Privacy features mean that you can remove your profile from search results, limiting your audience to people who you share your profile with, and you can also turn off access for unauthorised users - that is, only people who are logged in will be able to comment. You can also block senders, so even if you can't see the name of the user, they won't be able to send2 you a message again.



This isn't the first anonymous messaging app, YikYak are some of the popular apps in recent times to try and fill this function.

470 views Aug 15

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