Gossip sites can be entertaining, sometimes a form of escapism. Like when I went on a binge of tracking the wardrobe of Kate Middleton, or scrolled through pages and pages of Kylie Jenner’s Instagram because I wanted to see the evolution of her lips — gossip can be fascinating, as much as it is time-wasting.
The gossip culture in Singapore is no different. Online tabloids are very much alive, from sites like STOMP, to “confession pages” on Facebook. People just really like to talk (about other people). As a smart, entrepreneurial individual, what would one do? Tap into the gossip industry of course. Which is why we have Fessup.
Community and Belonging
Fessup is a community platform app for anonymous confessions — kinda like a friend you can tell all your secrets and gossip to, without the probability of them blabbing to the rest of the world. Reliable? Definitely.
If you wanna spill on your darkest desires as a lonely and horny uni student, or have some juicy gossip on the clubbing community, Fessup is the app you can turn to. The @media page that they recently set up is the space where interns, designers and copywriters can rant about clueless clients, stuck-up editors, and office scandals — it’s a jungle out there. But Fessup can also be used to contribute well thought-out, serendipitous, and heartwarming confessions about the brighter side of the industry.
Where Facebook focuses on real profiles and connecting people who already know each other, Fessup focuses on the concept of ’strangerships’ — it’s a place that allows loosely connected people to connect with each other.
Co-founder of Fessup, Herbert Eng says, “Our vision is that around the cornerstone social activity of crowdsourced confessions, gossip and news, Fessup can materialise as a place where people can explore and tinker with various personas and where strangers can actually connect based on community membership or a common interest in topics. Fessup isn’t just about making connections, we’re also about making these connections deeper.”
“By reducing the barriers towards self disclosure…we also facilitate and foster the development of more intimate relationships in these strangerships. We do have plans for private messaging for people to ultimately connect with each other and shed their anonymity,” he adds.
The platform was inspired by the days when IRC gelled communities together and conversations were spontaneous. Herbert says that these days, it can get difficult to be in synchronous conversations and Fessup would very much like to define a way of community-based interaction just as Slack defined intra-organization interaction.
I just want to be populated
We took the site on a run to test it out — who doesn’t like indulging in other people’s secrets once in a while? It’s really not hard to get onboard the platform; all it takes is a quick sign-up and then you are free to share all your gossip and secrets to your heart’s content. Pretty cathartic, eh? And like Tumblr, you can reply, reshare it, and ‘heart’ it. Another bonus? You’re allowed to rate whether the confession is true or false. Pretty cool.
The simple and minimalist layout makes it easy to navigate. The main directory allows you to choose from a bunch of communities, from local universities to a range of industries. Another interesting feature is how Fessup allows you to authenticate your account — it works like the ‘verified’ account on Twitter — if you’re using your school/institution’s email address. Having an authenticated account would make your secret more legit, in a way.
But because it is relatively new, the community pages are quite bare and and sparse — some of them are not even populated yet and there aren’t a lot of people using their school accounts. We exhausted all the secrets pretty quickly, and wished there was more to hang around longer on Fessup.
Fessup is new (and only in its Beta phase), so we say give them some time to build and grow. We appreciate the layout that keeps things simple — it’s much more intuitive and nifty on mobile — but maybe it would be helpful if we didn’t have to sign in every single time we reloaded the page on a browser. With a sizeable and active community continuously sharing and uploading exciting tidbits, we can foresee Fessup being an addictive platform that we’ll keep checking a few times in an hour. Start sharing!
Fessup is currently available only on Google Play, with an iOS version slated to be launched soon.