Why Sarahah the anonymous feedback app is trending

In the past week or so, you might have stumbled upon the #Sarahah. The app which actually launched a few months ago, has grown fast Egypt and Saudi Arabia, according to a BBC report.

The app has however become a trending hit in India, it is now the No. 1 app in the iOS App Store. The Sarahah app is been designed to allow users send and receive  anonymous feedback from others. The app developers have described it by saying: Sarahah helps people self-develop by receiving constructive anonymous feedback.

Sarahah is the brainchild of Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, a systems analyst who originally created it as a way for employees to give feedback to their employers without fear of retribution. Tawfiq, who’s from Saudi Arabia, says the name “Sarahah” is Arabic for “honesty.” “Having anonymous feedback would facilitate communications and help people develop, so that the company can improve,” he told Engadget.

How Sarahah app works

The idea behind Sarahah is simple – you create a Sarahah profile, which anyone can visit. Even without logging in, people can visit your profile and leave messages, anonymously. If they have logged in, messages are still anonymous by default, but users can choose to tag their identity.

On the receivers app, all the incoming messages show up in an inbox, and you can flag messages, delete them, reply, or favourite them to find them easily later.

According to FT “Sarahah has seen a fast rise to the #1 rank, particularly given that apps who reach the #1 daily downloads rank have to pass heavyweights like Facebook Messenger, Facebook and Pinterest in the US,” App Annie says. Sarahah is not the first hit app to emerge from the Middle East. Careem, a ride-hailing app similar to Uber, completed a $500m funding round last month, valuing it at about $1bn. In March, Amazon bought Souq, a 12-year-old ecommerce site based in Dubai, for $580m.

But although the app has become very popular, it’s quite polarising. For instance, although it has (at the time of writing) 10,305 5-star reviews on Google Play, it’s also got 9,652 1-star reviews, showing a near 50-50 split in opinion.