Whisper: Like Instagram But Better

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Of all the social media fads to grace the Internet in the last few years – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. – has there ever been a more annoying one than Instagram? Thanks to Instagram, everyone now thinks they’re a photographer because they can take a shot of their cat or dinner and tint it black to make it look “artsy.” It’s an epidemic of poorly framed lattés and vaguely blackened landscapes.
 
I have a suggestion: let’s all ditch Instagram and adopt the whisper app (currently available for free on iPhones and iPads and coming to Android later this year). It’s less irritating than the constant barrage of Insta-crap on Facebook and actually serves a purpose: bringing people together based on common experiences.
 
“Current social networks are paradoxically pushing people further apart by creating illusions of one another’s perfect lives and not allowing for any kind of meaningful dialogue to take place,” said whisper founder Michael Heyward. “Whisper is an anonymous platform where anyone can connect in a uniquely authentic manner. It allows users to creatively and honestly come together over shared joy, pain and life’s journey.”
 
If Instagram and PostSecret had a steamy night together and forgot to wear protection, whisper would be the outcome. The basic concept is pretty simple: you choose a photo either from the Internet or your phone, pick a filter, enter some text and select a font. The results will look something like these:
 
 
 
The types of whispers (posts) on the app vary, but Heyward said some of the most popular ones are student stories, relationships, friendships, sex, spirituality, health and self-esteem issues. whisper doesn’t track or store any data on its users, so people can talk candidly about real issues with no fear of judgment.
 
“You can get the most out of whisper by trusting that it is entirely safe and anonymous,” said Heyward. “Have fun with it! Post comments, leave responses, heart (like) other posts.”
 
There’s also a proximity element to whisper. The “nearby” section shows whispers posted near your location and even shows their distance from you in mileage. You can be as specific or as vague as you want with your location (Heyward used the example of “UCLA Student Activities Center” versus “California”). For students, this means you have easy access to whispers from kids on your campus.
 
“whisper allows you to connect about what’s really going on,” said Heyward. “What it’s like being away from home, making new friends, the course load, teachers and academic pressures, student loans, Greek life, parental expectations, the newfound college experience, partying. whisper is an amazing way for students to come together about the unspoken college experience – the underworld of the college culture.”
 
At the rate whisper is growing, it won’t be long before “whispers” become as commonplace as “tweets.” The app is already nearing 100,000 users and the whisper website averages close to a million page views a day. Even more promising is the advent of Facebook pages like “whispers on UCLA,” which showcases Bruin secrets.  Basically, keep an eye on this nifty little app.
 
So now that you know all whisper has to offer, take one last slightly darkened shot of autumn leaves and say your goodbyes (or good riddances) to Instagram. Then you can go to the iTunes store and start turning whispers into shouts:
 
 
Photo: Huffinton Post Teen

Junior > Journalism > University of Maryland

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