Have you ever wanted to tell a friend or acquaintance what you really thought about them, but you don’t want to own up to it? Good news, Sarahah, an anonymous messaging app, is ready for you to download.
Sarahah, created by Saudi programmer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, launched in February and garnered a strong user base in Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, but it arrived in the Apple App Store in June. Currently, Sarahah is trending in the App Store, thanks to the teens (the app’s main demographic) linking to it on their Instagram and Snapchat accounts.
What Is Sarahah?
The app allows users to send messages anonymously and receive anonymous messages in return, though there is currently no interface for commenting on messages. Navigating to another user’s page displays only their profile photo and a space for you to “leave a constructive message :).”
Below are a couple of messages that I sent to myself.
It also allows you to sync your phone contacts to help you find other users you know, although none of my contacts are on Sarahah because, well, I am no longer a teen.
How Do You Share Sarahah on Snapchat?
Users can attach their Sarahah and Snapchat accounts by adding a link in the latter app. Users can post the link to their Sarahah in their Snapchat Story, allowing viewers to swipe up and add a comment from there.
Many people have drawn comparisons between Sarahah and ASKfm, a social network that allows users to ask each other questions anonymously, and also, Yik Yak, an app that allowed users to start and comment on threads anonymously based on geographic proximity.
And much like Yik Yak and ASKfm, this anonymous feedback can mean positive reinforcement (and consequently, a whole lot of “humble bragging” on Snapchat and Instagram). It can also mean rampant bullying from users feeling protected under a veil of anonymity.
While Sarahah derives its name from the Arabic word sarahah, which translates to “honesty” or “candor,” it remains to be seen if honesty really is the best policy.