When I read the New York Magazine article about Whisper, comparing it to one of my favorite blogs, PostSecret, the author waxed poetic about it hearkening back to the golden age of’ anonymity in online sharing. I had to try it.
It’s a simple app. Compose your message, the app will suggest images based on the words you use, or you can use the camera on your device. It will give you a variety of fonts to choose from as well.’ The app auto-generates hashtags based on your text input, but you have the ability to remove or add more.Your short-form message will immediately be added to the stream of whispers, ranging from the mundane to the salacious. (There is an app store verification that you are 17 when you download it, but the NY Magazine article says teens are among its greatest devotees.)
Whisper is incredibly gratifying and fun to use. When I posted my first whisper, I had an almost instant response from another user in the form of his own whisper, several hearts, and a message advising me “that’s not so bad.” The anonymity is key, and some privacy is built in. An in-app PIN is required to check your account, or even view your own whispers.
Whisper has an online presence, but it seems to only support watching the stream, not posting. The community seems to be thriving, so much so that one of the most popular Whispers this week has been about a real-life couple who met via Whisper. For teens who have only known sites with “real name” policies, Whisper can be an entirely new world.