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App keeps secrets hushed at UF

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Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 12:28 am

Students on UF’s campus have been “Whisper”ing this semester.

The iPhone app allows people to anonymously post secrets and comments about anything from opinions on Gator football to confessing love for classmates, similar to the popular website www.PostSecret.com, said Kimberly Percuoco, manager of UF Whisper. The UF Whisper Facebook page — “Whisper on University of Florida” — has garnered nearly 800 likes since its launch.

“It is a great avenue to vent,” Percuoco said. “You can say what you want to say without posting it on Facebook, where everyone knows you.”

To post a Whisper, a user can pick a picture, either on his or her iPhone or from the Internet, and add text to the picture before posting it.

Users can also select the “nearby option,” which allows them to view all posts within a mile of them. The “nearby option” has been especially prevalent in communities with colleges, creating conversation among users studying on the same campus, Percuoco said.

For example, the UF Whisper Facebook page recently featured Whispers regarding the UF-Florida State University football game.

Percuoco and the manager of FSU’s Whisper page came up with the idea to get competition going between the schools leading up to the game, she said.

“I don’t think we fear anything... FSU is gator bait!” one read.

Jacqui Sousa, a 19-year-old nursing student, said she does not think the app will achieve huge popularity because users cannot follow people like on Twitter or Instagram.

“You follow certain people because they say interesting or funny things,” Sousa said. “But here you can’t because it is anonymous.”

There is a feature that lets users have usernames, but the posts are mostly anonymous.

Public relations major Carolina Garcia, 20, said she thinks the app will catch on.

“People are always looking for new types of social media to look at,” Garcia said. “This could be another thing to keep people entertained.”

Users don’t have to be UF students to use Whisper. The app is free and available to the public. It is currently only available on the iPhone, but an Android app is in development.

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