smartphone teen

Sarahah’s ironclad grip on the Apple app store finally loosened.

At the time of this report, Sarahah had fallen to the No. 5 slot after a long tour at the top of the App Store charts. Currently, the app sits behind Instagram, Youtube, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat. It was first knocked from its prime position on August 6th, and its download numbers have been wavering ever since.

Sarahah first experienced a burst of popularity in mid-July, when teenagers began to download the app and link it to their Snapchats in order to solicit anonymous opinions and comments from their acquaintances. The app appealed to the youthful desire for affirmation, and as such gained a fleeting but powerful stranglehold on social media.

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If you're using Sarahah, Tom Hanks, that mail might be telling you that you're a douchebag.

So what happened? For starters, affirmation was not always what Sarahah users ended up receiving. Anonymous hate is as old as anonymous apps. Untraceable hate took down Yik Yak in April, so the idea that anonymous hate would have a similar repelling effect for Sarahah users is a logical one.

Sarahah users were also beginning to figure out ways to lift the veil and uncover who exactly was sending them messages. It’s a lot of fun to have a secret admirer who proclaims that you are “sooooo sexy,” but it’s a lot less fun to find out that your admirer is the kid who you doesn’t blink enough from your world geography class.

Or it could be the fact that honestly, there wasn’t a ton going on with Sarahah. Beyond linking the app to Snapchat, there isn’t a lot of room for interaction within its confines. You can’t even respond to the messages you receive.

Teenagers have notoriously short attention spans and ever-changing whims. Trends reach their zenith and then dissolve. Maybe everyone just deleted the app to focus on all of the back-to-school reading they put off all summer.