Anonymous feedback apps are not sustainable, never have been. Some never make it to the top of the app stores and those that do fade into the distance shortly after. As humans, we find anonymity empowering, but some of us use that to say derogatory things and to bully. In the end, it's this type of behavior that is largely responsible for the failing of anonymous feedback apps. tbh is arguably the most successful of the genre because it was acquired by Facebook. So what did it do differently? The team there focused on positive feedback from the very beginning and painstakingly reviewed all posts using actual humans.

The latest app to meander its way up the iOS App Store ranks is Lipsi. Seeing the app fluctuate within the top 50 for a few weeks gave me the idea to pull the overall U.S. iOS rank histories of several well known anonymous feedback apps to determine what their lifespan looked like.

LIPSI

Launch date = 3/23/16

When did it hit overall ranks? 2/18/18 (almost two years later)

When did it hit #1 overall? Has yet to do this, the highest it has hit is #23 overall.

How long did it stay there? 8 days in a row but bounced back and forth, staying in top 10 for awhile before falling out for good on 10/25/17

Where is it now? It has been falling in the overall ranks (still within the top 50) but maintains its spot as the #2 Lifestyle app

Lipsi2

TBH

Launch date = 1/30/17

When did it hit overall ranks? 8/5/17 (just more than 6 months later)

When did it hit #1 overall? 9/14/17 (just over 5 weeks later)

How long did it stay there? 8 days in a row but bounced back and forth, staying in top 10 for awhile before falling out for good on 10/25/17

Where is it now? The app was acquired by Facebook on 10/16/17 and fell out of overall rankings completely on 2/10/18.

tbh Rank

SARAHAH

Launch date = 6/13/17

When did it hit overall ranks? 7/8/17 (less than a month after launch)

When did it hit #1 overall? 7/18/17 (10 days later)

How long did it stay at #1? 18 days in a row but it bounced back and forth after that. It officially fell out of the top 10 for good on 8/17/17

Where is it now? In February of this year, the app was removed from the App Store and Google play due to accusations of bullying

Sarahah Rank

WHISPER

Launch date = 4/26/12

When did it hit overall ranks? 12/1/13 (just more than 7 months later)

When did it hit #1 overall? The highest it reached was #85 overall on 7/14/14

Where is it now? The app jumps in and out of the overall rankings, last ranking at #1489 on 4/6/18

 

YIK YAK

Launch date = 11/6/13

When did it hit overall ranks? 11/6/2013

When did it hit #1 overall? The highest it reached was #3 overall in September 2014.

Where is it now? Similar to Sarahah, Yik Yak was accused of being a breeding ground for bullying. Google Play delisted it from its ranked in October 2015 and the app shut down officially in April 2017.

Tyler Droll, a co-founder of Yik Yak, saw the future and said it best - “We had feedback from students and parents and teachers, and we realized, if you want to build a long-lasting platform, you can’t have a gossip website. Those pop and then they drop.”

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AuthorAdam Blacker

Communications Lead & Mobile Researcher