As a former head of product for Google social apps, who helped bring social aspects to apps such as Google Docs, Blogger and more, Bindu Reddy has had a long history with social media. She later went on to put that experience to work as the CEO and founder of MyLikes—a content and advertising platform for social publishing with over 1.5 million publishers across Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr and Pinterest. Now she’s out to repeat her success by launching a brand new anonymous social media platform today called Candid for iOS and Android, which gives users a chance to speak their minds without fear of social backlash.

Bindu Headshot 3
Bindu Reddy, CEO of Candid

Reddy explains to [a]listdaily that, “I’ve been around social media for a really long time, back when it started with blogging through things like LiveJournal,” and that she’s “passionate about social media and sharing minds freely,” which led to the creation of Candid.

“Over the last couple of years, I’ve had this sort of social anxiety and fear of backlash, so I’ve had to censor a lot of my posts on Facebook and Twitter,” said Reddy. “I think everybody really needs to think twice right when they post anything . . . You have to censor what you’re saying, or you’ll get comments and responses from your friends, co-workers and even potential employers. Expressing your mind freely can have very negative consequences.”

Users can have the Candid app pull information such as education, employment history and friends from their Facebook accounts, which is then used to recommend topical channels to join. They are then assigned a random identity with every post so that they can comment on issues without worry. At the same time, identities may be marked as “friends,” so that users know which posts are written by people they know from their other social networks. Posts can also be shared across other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

As Reddy describes it, “Candid is your personalized newsfeed of things that you care about and people that you care about in an anonymous context, so that there’s more authenticity. Candid is the place to get authentic information—the news behind the news, the story behind the story.” She further explains that “connecting with Facebook will pull employers and education and recommend communities based on that. If you work for Yahoo, for example, it will recommend the Yahoo community to you. Now you can talk about Yahoo in an anonymous context with other people who work at Yahoo, and that is the key. Candid is the only place for you to express what you feel to relevant people.”

In discussing the limitations of current social platforms, Reddy states, “You can go on Reddit to talk about it [your topic], but you won’t necessarily be talking to people who care about it. Candid is kind of like a common man’s Reddit, which gives you the right communities and personalizes your news feed and information. Compared to other anonymous apps, these channels are moderated to ensure each post belongs to the community it’s posted in.”

Candid uses artificial intelligence (AI) to moderate channels by ensuring that each post is relevant to the topic, which separates it from the manual process Reddit and Facebook employ and guarantees an unbiased process. The program also analyzes sentiment, to determine whether a post is positive, negative or neutral. “Posts that are particularly libelous or call people names will be pulled down,” explains Reddy. Users are given different badges according to their posts. For example, an often negative user will be given a “Hater” badge. It’s a way to help users become more self-aware and encourage them to become less negative, people who continue to be haters are kicked from the platform to make to “prevent the platform from devolving into a cesspool of gossip, hatred and slander.”

Lastly, the AI has a rumor detector that will cross-reference posts with sources such as Twitter and Wikipedia, marking them as either facts or rumors while eliminating outright falsehoods. Given enough time and data, Candid could potentially become a platform for the most honest and truthful opinions and conversations.

So how can brands make use of a platform that specializes in anonymity? “It’s really good for brands to do beta testing,” said Reddy. You can use it for “releasing new products and trailers to see authentic reactions. Targeting specific people who they think are potential customers. A movie about politics can be promoted on a politics channel or an actor’s group. Disney could target interested fans directly and brands can start conversations about particular movies. There’s already a thriving Pokémon GO group, and brands can target those players with services, features and announcements.”

Furthermore, Reddy notes that “you can get information and honest feedback about your brand, and you can promote your brand to people who have interests that align with it.”

The platform still has plenty of room to grow, with a desktop platform expected to launch in the future for long-form posts. Reddy also has plans to expand the platform so that it can link up with information from platforms besides Facebook. Some of the more ambitious features on the horizon include livestreaming, video support and messaging, all of which could make it an ideal platform for discovery and conversation.

Reddy believes that “there are a lot of things that people want to say that they can’t today.” Candid could become the platform to remedy that, and companies looking for honest opinions could benefit.