Let's face it! We all have wanted to say something to someone at one point in our lives but have failed. Miserably! Saudi developer ZainAlabdin Tawfiq must be cashing in on the same emotion that made him develop Sarahah, a beautiful word that means honestly in Arabic.
Justifying its name, Sarahah allows you to receive anonymous messages. And everyone seems to be hooked on to it. But why? Do we really want to know what people think about us? Turns out, damn yeah! And app's 300 million downloads bear evidence to this.
Been there, done that...
One of the users is Rajesh Rajamani, an ex-banker, who now writes a webcomic, narrates his experience of being on the app. Here's what he had to share -
In the last one week, the app’s popularity in the Indian web space has grown steeply. Unable to resist the temptation, I created an account and shared it with my Facebook friends. So far, I have mostly received kind and generous feedback.
Who's that: Indian users have picked up the app and it's going viral already
Sarahah certainly brings with it the thrill of saying and hearing something very honest. And the excitement of guessing who might have said what. Combined together, these two emotions make the app very addictive.
Also, I believe that as a society, we find it easy to instantaneously criticize anyone. But to appreciate someone seems to need reflection to find the right thing to say. Going by the experiences of the people I know who are using the app, I think Sarahah has made most message senders give thought to the good traits of someone and share it.
The app states that it can be used by employers to let their employees how they can "improve" at their jobs by giving constructive feedback and can be used by friends to let the user know how they can improve their friendships
I also think that Sarahah is in some way a well-behaved, nicer version of Facebook’s ‘The Other Inbox’. In The Other Inbox, one receives unsolicited compliments, criticism and creepy messages from unknown strangers.
In Sarahah, one actively solicits feedback and receives compliments, criticism and creepy messages from a known person whose identity is masked. While a ‘You look beautiful’ message in The Other Inbox could get you slightly anxious or even worried, the same message can make you blush and wonder curiously about the sender in Sarahah.
Because there's always the other side of the coin
However, this difference between them lasts only as long as the user shares his/her Sarahah link with a closed group of trusted members. The moment it is shared with 5000 friends on Facebook or 10,000 followers on Twitter, it immediately starts functioning the same as The Other Inbox. Or in fact worse, because of the sender’s anonymity in Sarahah.
Sarahah which means ‘honesty’ in Arabic, is a new messaging app that has gone viral on the net. Unlike other messaging apps, the messages here are sent anonymously. A user sets up an account and shares the link with his/her family, friends, colleagues or any other trusted community of members. The app creators believe that the anonymity of the sender would encourage members of the group to send honest feedback to the user
Sarahah could function effectively in understanding what others think about us as long as it is shared with a limited and known group of people for a fixed period of time. However, if the duration and group size is too large, then the app might easily enter areas of abuse and harassment forcing the user to abandon the account.