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Anonymous apps like Whisper and Yik Yak have recently taken a lot of heat over controversial issues like cyber bullying and teen suicide. But a new anonymous app called MeToo aims to allow people to connect around their deepest topics of interest.
Experience Project is a social media site with 20 million users who anonymously share their significant life experiences and connect with others who have similar stories. The app launched on Nov. 21.
Users can connect on “anything from not being able to get over an old crush, to wanting to travel,” Experience Project marketing manager Diviah Subramanian said.
Although MeToo is anonymous, Subramanian said he does not believe it will turn into a secret sharing or gossip spreading tool. “(Gossip apps are) why people buy trashy magazines and watch reality T.V. shows; it hooks you in. We have such a strong population of millions of users who wouldn’t let that happen.”
People can use MeToo to connect around just about any topic, interest or experience. When downloading the app, the new user is prompted to join at least five groups. Groups are defined by “I statements,” such as: “I want to thank our veterans,” “I can be socially awkward sometimes,” “I like to flirt,” “I’m addicted to comfort food” and “I love brunettes.”
People also connect around more serious topics, such as battling cancer or other diseases, mental illnesses, addictions and other life experiences.
“It’s a quick way to find people who get you,” Subramanian said.
The app is designed to be lighter and more fun for mobile users and to help people find others who understand them on a deeper level.
“It’s not just for people who don’t have a friend, but for people who have friends who may not understand their circumstances,” said Heidi Allstop, director of Product for the Experience Project.
The beginnings of the Experience Project came about when founder Armen Berjikly’s close friend was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Berjikly explained in a Ted Talk that he began searching for information on MS and created a website to distribute the information to others affected by the disease.
Though the site was poorly designed, Berjikly explained, it quickly garnered thousands of users who were able to connect around the topic of MS. After a time Berjikly recognized the power of connecting around similar life experiences and created the Experience Project.
The Experience Project also uses its site to run sentiment analysis on certain topics and to consult with businesses about the emotions of their potential customers.