Secret is Back as IO

In the wake of the astonishing results of 2016 U.S. presidential election, David Byttow, co-founder of anonymous sharing app Secret, vowed that the formerly defunct app would return. He tweeted his solemn vow five days after Donald Trump was elected.

The revival, IO, was launched on Thursday morning, and it looks nothing like Secret. Actually, it bears a striking resemblance to a blank page (see above). Unlike Secret which functioned as a social network without profiles, IO operates more or less as a blogging platform. The project was undertaken by a team supervised by Byttow who also shouldered all finanacial funding. Byttow's project was entrusted to a team rather than taken on by himself because of the founder's other time investment, namely Bold. A startup launched by Byttow as a content creation service for enterprises, Bold provides the trunk URL for IO.

Initially, as many new projects do, IO went to Product Hunt to be reviewed and rated by the community. By and large, the comments are positive, responding well to the uncluttered layout and simple operation.

To use IO, just start typing. You can add a Twitter account and a name if desired; however, those can be left out to establish an anonymous post. Once finished, hitting publish will leave you with a shareable link. Editing options include, for the moment, markdown, export, images, hyperlinks, even a couple handy writer's tools. Hemingway is a tool to help with writing: "The Hemingway assistant helps you write like Ernest Hemingway himself by highlighting unnecessary adverbs and the use of passive voice or overly complex words. In short, it helps you keep your posts simple and direct." Ambient sounds are available on-site at the touch of a button, featuring sounds like a cafe in Paris, a relaxing storm, a beach bonfire, an enchanted forest, Hogwarts Library (that alone may convert me to IO), and Castle Black.

Unfortunately for the team responsible for IO's creation, this same concept was just recently launched by encrypted messaging service Telegram in the form of Telegraph. Telegraph isn't quite as finished a product as IO, but it bears an eerily similar format. Someone may want to look into that.


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