Whisper Hits 20 Million Monthly Users, Doubling Its Audience in 6 Months

Secret's demise probably helped

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Whisper now has 20 million monthly users, which is twice as many as the anonymity-based messaging app claimed in May. What's changed since that last batch of user data? The three-year-old company's chief competitor, Secret, shut down in April, so it stands to reason that a healthy number of Secret users have since gone over to supplement a positive Whisper narrative that gained steam throughout 2015

And the Los Angeles-based startup has been attracting advertisers. Two weeks ago, Disney/Pixar orchestrated a five-day campaign on Whisper for the animated movie The Good Dinosaur. But unlike the spots that blanketed TV sets leading up to its Thanksgiving weekend premiere, the mobile campaign wasn't labeled as an ad. Instead, it looked like a normal piece of content that the app's users share with their anonymous friends.

And that's generally how other advertisers, such as Coca-Cola, Hulu and 20th Century Fox, have conducted themselves on the platform. Whisper pitches keyword targeting that lets brands zero in on its viewers in terms of what moods they're in, such as happy, depressed, bored, puzzled, etc. Indeed, the app—where users are incognito—is designed to let people get things off their chests, and Whisper asserts that it gets 1 million app opens per hour and over 10 billion monthly page views.

Here are a few other interesting facts that Whisper blogged about on Friday:

  • The No. 1 most-searched and most-used word on Whisper is "love," which flies in the face of a popular belief that the platform mostly inspires cyber-bullying.
  • It is used in 187 countries.
  • More than half a billion "hearts"—its answer to Facebook's like button—have been tallied.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.