October 4, 2022

Anonymous apps have always held a certain kind of appeal to young people. They offer a sense of anticipation, and a dopamine hit if anonymous comments or questions are favorable. Will someone admit their feelings for you? Showering you with compliments? One can only hope.

NGL is the latest to offer this experience – and it has only grown in popularity in recent months. Named after an acronym for “Not Gonna Lie,” the app debuted in November 2021 and has since garnered around 7.3 million downloads worldwideAccording to Apptopia.

Most of these downloads occurred in mid-June, briefly sending NGL to number one overall on the Apple App Store in the US. Still holding on lead In the App Store lifestyle chart.

The app itself is simple: once you download it, it sends you a link to paste into your Instagram story or bio, and invites your followers to send you anonymous messages. Then you wait for responses to appear in the inbox of the NGL app. By pressing Reply, you can send messages to your Instagram story with the reply.

“I’ve just seen one person use it, and then I’ve seen three or four people use it in a day,” 23-year-old Thomas Meyer told Insider. ‘I was like ‘What’s going on?’ I haven’t seen this kind of anonymous question and answer in years. “

In fact, NGL is not the first to take advantage of young people’s fascination with online anonymity. Its predecessors – services like Ask.fm, Curious Cat, YikYak, Yolo and LMK – met with mixed reactions.

last year, Snap commented on Yolo and LMK After being sued, a teenager was bullied on catwalks for months and committed suicide. The lawsuit, which is still pending, alleges that Yolo and LMK violated consumer protection laws and that apps of its kind enabled bullying to the point that it should be considered dangerous.

Meanwhile, competing applications Ask.fm and yak yak It has been plagued by allegations that it enabled cyberbullying. Yik Yak finally shut down in 2017, but Since then.

Amid the new success of natural gas liquids, similar concerns are beginning to emerge. despite of His website It says it uses algorithms to “filter malicious language and bullying,” NBC News tested the app and found some Inappropriate terms and expressions Slide through the cracks.

NGL did not respond to requests for comment.

Two users who spoke with Insider said they weren’t harassed or bullied online – but in fact she did Receive showers of the above compliments and confessions of feelings.

With anonymous letters, it’s easier to quote ‘shoot,’ said Christopher Macias, 25.

He continued, “Someone told me they thought I was cute, but they were shy. So I told them to criticize (in my story) and they did.” “Once my schedule is up, we’ll get together.”

Macias received some questions that he felt were not worth an answer, but overall, he said, using the app was a good experience. He said most of the people who asked questions were people close to him, or people who would like to get close to him.

Meyer, who said he previously received mean comments while using Ask.fm and Curious Cat, said he will use NGL again when he looks for external validation.

“I think there’s a little bit of ego – thinking that someone might want to share something with you anonymously,” Meyer said. “It makes you feel good about yourself when you get messages saying ‘You’re really nice’ or ‘I’m really proud of you. “

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