Blind, a 3.5M+ member hub for tech gossip around salaries, layoffs, and company drama, solves a key problem in social media: if you’re anonymous, you lose credibility, especially when talking about what’s happening at specific companies—but if you use your real identity, you can get in trouble for what you say. Blind solves this through partial anonymity: new users can verify their employer by getting an email at a company email address (so an Uber employee can confirm their employment with an @uber.com email address. Blind keeps track of the verification, but doesn’t otherwise link usernames to real-world identities).Anonymous social platforms are a challenging market because bad actors don’t suffer real-world consequences for their behavior. Many of these apps therefore slowly devolve into gossip and bullying (Ask.fm, Formspring, Secret, etc.).
But Blind has a better shot at avoiding this type of downfall. Since users are mostly employed by the same set of companies, there’s a natural target for gossip—the companies themselves. In a sense, Blind has the same amount of cyberbullying as any other anonymous platform—but the people who get cyberbullied on Blind are powerful CEOs and wealthy investors. When bullying isn’t peer-to-peer, there isn’t a cycle of retaliation. This means the app’s users can feel like they’re all part of the same team.
Blind’s biggest benefit is that it lets users get credibility without sacrificing anonymity. Anyone can start a rumor about a layoff, but it’s a more credible claim if it comes from a verified Lyft employee. In fact, the site ranks close to #1 when searching google for terms like “facebook layoffs” or “google layoffs”. The most common discussions on Blind revolve around job offers and compensation. This is an area where there’s a natural information asymmetry, since companies know what they pay but most people don’t talk about how much they make.
And sure enough, growth has accelerated in recent months, as Covid-19 has led to more career uncertainty and more free time.