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When Secret launched in February, it quickly became the most talked-about new social network in Silicon Valley.

(You can also block or mute people you don't want to talk to.) The absence of a private chat feature had led to difficult workarounds for Secret users who wanted to connect through the app: creating one-off Gmail accounts and leaving the address in the comments, say, or using Anonyfish, a third-party service built for the express purpose of letting Secret users chat.

(Its future after today’s launch is unclear, though its founder has said he plans to integrate it with other services.) Secret is also making a major change to how you can share.

And yet you can’t deny that posts about individuals were one of the things that made Secret so compelling in the first place.

Absent gossip, Secret can start to feel like a stream of Successories posters.

"Feels better after a nice chat with an old friend," read a post in my feed this week.

And yet, anecdotally at least, gossip also helped to drive people read up on local gossip — but should you?

But Secret goes a step further by connecting to your phone’s address book, then showing you your friends’ posts without revealing which friend said them. But in recent months, Secret has lost some of its initial power.

Several news stories broke first on Secret, fueling buzz that led the app to be downloaded more than 15 million times in 10 months. The number of posts from friends in my feed slowed to a trickle, and Secret is no longer among the top 1,500 apps, according to App Annie.

Gone are the slow-loading square photos overlaid with words; in their place is a Twitter-like feed with snippets of text.

You can still add a photo to your post, but it appears in a circular thumbnail next to the text.

And yet like so many anonymity-focused apps before them, they have been dogged by controversy.