Whisper users: Your anonymous confessions and questions may begin to show up on TV. Fusion, a media network aimed at a millennial audience, has settled a partnership with the anonymous content-sharing app to use content to stimulate conversation on Fusion programs.
It’s the first content-sharing deal for Whisper, which allows users to send anonymous messages (usually in the form of candid confessions and social observations) and receive replies. It has become a forum for discussing issues usually considered taboo, like sexual abuse on college campuses. Many users cite its therapeutic nature as a reason for using it.
â€” Michael Heyward (@michaelheywire) June 21, 2014
Not all content on Whisper is heavy though. Some are relatively harmless:
â€” Whisper (@WhisperApp) June 20, 2014
“Whisper creates community and compelling conversation around the news and issues that are important to our young, diverse audience,” Isaac Lee, CEO of Fusion said in a statement. “By incorporating Whisper content into our reporting, we’ll be able to expand and enhance our ability to tell stories from a unique perspective.”
“Starting today [Monday], Fusion will take key stories and trend lines from Whisper and provide additional context to give its audience an authentic look at the issues, thoughts, and questions being discussed and debated amongst their peers in a highly authentic way,” the statement says.
On Monday, Fusion posted a feature story about how students at top “party schools” talk about drugs on Whisper, providing a preview of the kind of topics Fusion want to address using Whisper content. They used Whisper’s geolocation capabilities to pinpoint posts from around those schools and plotted it out on graphs.
Whisper has a three and a half star rating on Google Play and a four-star rating on Apple’s App Store. Some critics say the anonymity of Whisper allows people to post fake stories and information to garner replies and praise on the site and there’s no way for anyone in-app to verify that information without compromising the anonymity the app hinges on. In that first Fusion story using Whisper data posted Monday, the author admitted that some of the info could have come from young people visiting those universities.
Fusion was started in a partnership between Univision and Disney/ABC. It aims to “[champion] a young, diverse, and inclusive America with a unique mix of smart and irreverent original reporting, lifestyle, and comedic content.” Whisper was founded in 2012 by Michael Hayward and Brad Brooks and is based in Venice, California.