Founded late last year, MySecret.co.ke aims to help Kenyans shed off anonymously the burden of secrets that they have been keeping to themselves to reduce gobbling stress and anxiety.
The site is allowing users share just about anything anonymously for at times solid , non-judgemental advice or weird nonsense in the same measure.
“This helps people let go of an issue that may have been bothering them for years,” says Ken Kariuki, its developer.”This is something that was non-existent in the country before. People keep secrets because they are afraid of sharing them with friends or family for fear of being rejected, scorned or stigmatized, and this can be harmful.”
Kariuki tells TechMoran that the site was designed in a simple way to make it easy to use. At the top there’s a box starting with the words ‘My secret is….’. You are required to type your secret there and click ‘Share My Secret’. It will immediately appear on top of other secrets and users will be able to read, comment, like or dislike the secret.
“It is automatically assigned a secret number and shows the date and time of posting. Users can also use the social buttons just below the secret to share on Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter. The maximum character count is 350,” adds Kariuki.
For every secret posted there’s a comment box starting with the words ‘I think….’. That’s where you’ll be able to type your thoughts and post. The secrets that elicit the most comments will automatically appear on the site’s ‘Most Commented’ page. The same happens to the ‘Most Liked’ and ‘Most Disliked’ secrets. There’s a logarithmic system in place to take care of that. Comments can only contain 200 characters or less.
The site also has a search box where one can search a secret anytime using the secret number. MySecret aim to make its cash through banner ads and affiliate programs which they are already experimenting with.
The team also intends to introduce a small fee in the upcoming ‘Connect’ section to help us serve users better. The site is still in its infancy, and there’s a lot of potential in the future says Kariuki who is now using Facebook, Twitter and blog posts to market his site in a bid to make it a household name.
Though the site is gaining popularity so fast, Kariuki says it’s a new concept in the country so some people are skeptical about the site.
“They tend to think that we are out to get them after they post their secrets, which is not the case, as we collect no data from the users and are unable to determine user identities,” Kariuki told TechMoran. “Posting of malicious content by a few guys is another problem, but not a major one as we have a standby team to moderate.”
As the only secrets sharing platform in the country, Ken knows others may crop up later, but the kind of technology he says he has used makes the site exceptional and hard to copy.
“Our users enjoy freedom of speech with less moderation, reason why many visit mysecret.co.ke and the MySecret Kenya app daily. We have made both the website and Android app easy to navigate. This guarantees a satisfactory user experience. We also suffer zero downtimes!” Ken adds.
Kariuki, a journalist by profession and a graduate of the East Africa School of Journalism, says him and his team of six are about to add a new section called ‘Connect’, which will enable people to get in touch. Basically, a user will be able to post what they are looking for and leave their contacts. Anyone interested will then hit the ‘Connect’ button and immediately get the contact details.
MySecrets is also considering having full-time counsellors on board to offer real-time advice for free to depressed users as he realizes most people on MySecret seem to be going through a lot in life and a piece of advice from a qualified counsellor would go a long way in making their lives better.
“We are actively exploring new ways of improving the site. We intend to become the biggest shoulder Africa can lean on by introducing MySecret to the rest of the continent. The aim of this is to support as many people as possible to have less stress and anxiety and increased emotional wellbeing, as well as connect them to local and national support organisations in times of need,” concludes Kariuki.