Sarahah Messages: Be very Honest {but totally anonymous}

Pushing behind Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc., one new communication app is taking the internet by storm. Sarahah is currently the No. 1 free iPhone app on iTunes in over 30 countries. According to a BBC report, it has over 300 million users already. So what is the purpose of this app - Simple! You can leave anonymous messages on anyones’ profile using Sarahah.

Sarahah - What is it?

Created by the Saudi developer, ZainAlabdin Tawfiq, you can use Sarahah to send anonymous messages to people. Interestingly, "Sarahah" is the Arabic word for candor or openness, though this openness is delivered by being anonymous. iTunes description of this app says it will help users discover their “strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from [their] employees and [their] friends in a private manner.” You can share your own profile link to invite “honest” feedback from others. Guess what? Employees, who never spoke up for fear of getting fired, can now post anonymous feedback on their employers' profile. EASY!?

Sarahah - How does it work?

Once a user registers for an account, they can invite feedback by sharing their profile link/username with friends on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram, and Snapchat, and anyone with this link can share messages to their profile. When you receive a message you can favourite it using the heart button or block the sender or even report it. Though what happens after you report a message is unclear. Don’t mistake the reply button for actually replying to the person, who sent you the message. Reply, for some weird reason, lets you forward a message to friends via social media.

Features of Sarahah

The primary Message window shows four icons below each message – a red flag to report message, block icon, reply, and a heart icon to mark message as favourite. All received, sent and messages marked favourite appear in this window. Apart from the primary Message window, Sarahah has 3 different tabs at the top - Search, Explore, and Profile. The Explore is marked as a new feature that’s under development. One can search for a friend, select the profile and tap on it to open a new message box that asks you to leave a “constructive message.” Users have the option to receive messages only from other registered users. They can further disable the option to ‘Appear in search’.

Limitations of Sarahah

You can only send text messages; no option to share photos. Sarahah doesn’t allow users to respond to messages, nor can they see who a message is from, unless the sender includes their name in the message. While there’s an option to Logout of the app, we couldn’t find one to delete account on the app itself. To delete the account, you have to log into the website version of the messaging service and go to settings to remove accounts.

Sararah - CyberBully

Do you remember fellow anonymous messaging apps like Yik Yak, Secret, and After School? Yik Yak and Secret quickly fizzled out, while another, called Whisper, just laid off 20% of its staff. All of these, faced flak due to cyber bullying possibilities. Apparently Sarahah seems also to be a victim of this phenomenon. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren’t new to trolls and bullies, and adding an extra layer of complete anonymity can take one steps further. Anonymous environments can give free rein to cyberbullying. Since launch this app has garnered a huge following among the youngsters in a short span of time. After all, explosive popularity with teens isn't a guarantee of long-term viability.

Final Verdict: 

When we take a look at the user reviews on Play Store and App Store, the users are divided. While some have praised the app for its new concept and fun, others have blamed it for propagating online hate and warned parents and users not to download the app because of bullying.

Sarahah Download

Apple - App Store Link
Android - Play Store Link 

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