Services & Software

New apps encourage positivity (podcast)

We've heard the stories about how anonymous social-messaging apps can be havens for bullying. But a pair of new smartphone apps seek to accentuate the positive.

Outpour is one of a pair of new anonymous messaging apps that's meant to keep things positive.

You've heard the complaints about anonymous apps like Yik Yak, After School, Secret, Whisper and While there are plenty of positive things people do with these apps, there are also cases of trolling and bullying; false rumors; and general meanness (click here for anonymous-app safety and civility tips).

But two new apps, Let and Outpour, have been specifically designed to be more uplifting, according to their developers.

Outpour's founder, Calvin Liu, said his app is designed "to use anonymity for good." He said there are "lots of times where people just aren't good at telling other people how much they mean to us." He wants to make a place "where you are encouraged to write appreciative things about other people."

The anonymous app Let has "angels" that patrol the site.

Pascal Lorne, CEO of Let, acknowledges that there are times when users -- which are mostly teenage girls -- act inappropriately. But "instead of banning and pointing at bad behaviors," Lorne said, "we have always been trying to elevate these kids." He said that after spending two or three hours a day with kids, "I realize it's pretty common to turn a pretty bad behavior into a very good behavior." Lorne said the company has a group of "angels" that patrol the service to help keep things on a civil level.

To learn more, I spoke with Calvin Liu of Outpour and Pascal Lorne of Let.

Click below to listen to podcast.