« I cheat on my bf while he’s deployed. Girls have needs too. » Normally that’s the kind of thing you’d read in the most honest, confessional text from a best friend. But it’s commonplace on Whisper, where people can anonymously share secrets overlaid on an image. Like Snapchat, the app has captured the imagination of teens and technologists. In addition to revealing deep personal truths, the app allows for direct messaging, picture replies, and filters for location – and soon, by theme.
Whisper has raised over $24 million in venture capital and draws another comparison to Snapchat for locating itself outside the Bay Area or New York, but in West LA, increasingly called Silicon Beach. Cofounder and CEO Michael Heyward weighs in on the LA tech scene, how to capture the attention of fickle, but phone-loving teens, and the security and privacy challenges of having such a young user base.