There’s a lot of news about Whisper, Secret, and other anonymous social networks lately. Anonymous forums that have existed online for years, such as the anonymous confessions at PostSecret and the anonymous question-and-answer network. Unlike older, Web-based message boards and forums, these apps use the mobile capabilities to easily pass posts through text messages or on social media. All you need do is upload a screenshot to spread something meant for a few friends to dozens or even hundreds of people.
The latest to join Anonymous Social Media bandwagon is Wizters. Its go to market strategy was to aim at college students, and probably one of the best features on Wizters is the random contextual names. Every user is given a random name for any particular activity, and this changes for another activity. To counter the ill effects or misuses, the team behind Wizters is also working on machine learning so that it can automatically detect socially unfit posts and keep them out of the social network.
Please give us a background of the Wizters founding team.
I (Apoorv Saini) am the co-founder and CTO of Wizters. I have been working on Wizters for over 2 and a half years now and just completed my Engineering from IIIT-Delhi and now aim to take Wizters to next level.
Dr. Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, is the Co-founder, Chief Strategist and member of the Advisory board. He is also the Assistant Professor at IIIT-Delhi and Ph.D. Alumni from Carnegie Mellon University
How did the idea of Wizters come into being?
It all happened in summers of 2011, just after completing my 1st year of engineering, I started working on an anonymous social network for colleges. The idea was given to me by a friend of mine. For around one year I worked on it in stealth mode and then finally launched it in July 2012. Wizters received positive reactions instantly and from that point onward, I have been developing it and shaping the then-non-existent anonymous social space.
Please describe your product in detail and its differentiation in the market.
Wizters is an anonymous social network which allows users to share anything (Videos, texts and pictures) and connect with friends, likeminded people or strangers.
Social anonymity market is very new and it has very few players (most of them came way later than Wizters). It is our motive and set of features that differentiate us from our competitors like Whisper and Secret.
Wizters is for sharing anything instantly in real time while others just want you to share your innermost thoughts or confessions, Wizters does all of it and also gives you the rush of real time sharing. Wizters can be doubled up as Anonymous Twitter.
The android app of Wizters allows users to record and anonymously share 12 seconds of video. It is such a big power to users and none of our competition even comes close.
Not only this, we want to the “Center of Social Anonymity“, so we even have a plugin to share content on the web anonymously on Wizters and will be providing Developer APIs for developers to create apps that require user anonymity.
What are some of the challenges that you see in the next few months?
The main challenge would be the rise of competitions. The social anonymity market is on the rise and there are more start ups coming this way. Our biggest challenge will be to stick to our roots and keep tackling the competition.
Next is user engagement. As we are on the rise with our android and web app, we are already working releasing sets of features that will keep users engage and they can spend more time on Wizters. Next few months are dedicated to testing our features and validating them.
We are also taking Wizters to Japan, trying to see how people react to social anonymity there, including promotions and native support, we will also run experiments to make Wizters better and achieve some traction in Asian market.
Please share any early success that you have had. What do your users think about Wizters?
Wizters for Windows phone was featured as the best new comer app on App Flow. Wizters was also featured on the Top apps in Windows Phone Market Place.
Wizters was placed among top 150 startups in Pioneer’s challenge at Vienna in 2013.
NextBigWhat called Wizters “The Gossip Queen for Colleges” last year, but we have moved out of our College bubble and are now open to all.
What are your plans to get product adoption?
This is where we had been facing issues earlier, but we have are building a better anonymous ecosystem unlike others (where users come, get excited and then get bored and leave). We are using short version recycles and combining them with custom campaigns for users. Everyone wants to be anonymous and to be hard at the same time, so we have given them full control of their audience using hash tags and handles (like those of Twitter), as people know how to use them (as for hash-tags, people use them even where they are not required and we have utilized this thing). The sense of familiarity and the set of features that we have planned for users, I don’t think they are not going to run out of reasons to keep using Wizters regularly.
What is your product roadmap for the next few months? Which features can we expect?
We have just released our Android app and it is getting some good reviews and bags huge potential. Imagine how much power can you have sharing videos anonymously with the world. For next 5 months we are going to work on making our web and android app better based on user feedback. Along with that, you can certainly expect “Anonymous Chat” feature for sure. We already have chat feature on web app, but we are trying to build a much better chat experience for users to connect with people anonymously on web and mobile platforms.
Wizters for iOS will hit the App Store next year around July.