Here’s How the Whisper iOS App Went Viral and Raised $3 Million in Funding

 
 
 

Whisper has what every app developer wants — a hot idea, virality and a few million in the bank. The app allows users to anonymously share secrets with each other, via text overlaid on photos.

The iOS app announced a $3 million round on Thursday, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners among others, according to TechCrunch. Co-founder Michael Heyward says he views the app as an antidote to the “share everything” culture of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks where users’ identity are entirely a reflection of what they share.

You ever get annoyed at all the people posting such happy statuses and “my life is awesome” photos on Facebook? Yeah, Heyward does too, and he’s trying to fill that niche of ‘unhappy media.’

Users are able to download the app and message for free, as well as seeing the location of other users, but the private messaging function is behind a pay wall. So you won’t be able to anonymously message your crush until you pony up some cash.

The app has become especially popular on college campuses, and also has a fair number of military users on active duty in the Middle East. With more than 800,000 private messages sent each day, and more than a billion page views as of last month, the product is notably addictive — users open the app six times a day. The company plans to add an Android version in the coming months.

Investors have drawn parallels with Snapchat as well, as both apps allow consumers to have fewer inhibitions for using and sharing.

Take note, people: photo gimmicks+scandal=viral hit.