00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

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大家都知道,在欧美,这几年社交领域一直是Facebook旗下几大社交网站和TikTok霸榜,以至于很多互联网从业者都只能跑去搞Web3。然而谁也没想到,这几天居然又有一个概念相当“怀旧”的 Web2 社交产品,突然在国外的 Gen-Z/00后群体里火得一塌糊涂,让人直呼看不懂。

它是一个匿名问答产品,名字叫做 NGL。用法非常简单:答主生成一个自己的链接,发到 TikTok/IG/Twitter 上,其它网友点进去就可以进行匿名提问,用户在 NGL 的 app 里回答,再把截图通过同样的方式 po 到社交网络上。

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

图片来源:硅星人截取自苹果应用商城官网

就像两年前的 Clubhouse 以迅雷不及掩耳之速度席卷全球互联网,NGL 受到的疯狂追捧也令人感觉有点莫名其妙。

它在上个月成功实现病毒传播,许多粉丝表示已经深深“中毒”,沉浸在匿名问答带来的刺激和认同感当中,难以自拔。在 TikTok 上有大量网友疯狂转发推荐这款应用,甚至已经劫持了 #NGL 等相关话题。

仅在今年6月,NGL 的下载就已经超过了730万。更厉害的是其中绝大部分下载量发生在三天之内,使得这个产品的应用商城排名,从三百多直冲到美国 iOS 免费应用的榜首。

海外网友疯狂安利这个产品的视频,在 TikTok 等社交网络上比比皆是 图片来源:硅星人聚合自网络

那么这个 NGL 到底是何方神圣,它又为什么如此受欢迎,甚至在网上引发了不小的争议呢?

“讲真”这玩意,实在太上瘾

NGL 其实是"not gonna lie"的网络缩写,直译过来是“不会说谎”。

不过考虑到年轻一代海外网友对这个短语的用法,更地道的翻译,应该就是咱们中文网友常说的“讲真”了。

今天硅星人就带大家来体验一下这个东西怎么玩:

首先,NGL 的产品机制特别简单,甚至连注册都没有,你只需要填写自己的 Instagram 账号,就能生成一个专属的链接 (https://ngl.link/你的id),记得点一下“复制链接”的按钮:

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

图片来源:硅星人

然后,选择一个分享文案,点击那个骰子的按钮就可以更换:

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

动图来源:硅星人

接下来,点击分享的按钮,生成一个分享截图,发到 Instagram 的短视频功能 (Stories) 上;

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

图片来源:硅星人

在 Stories 编辑界面,点击“贴纸”的图标,添加一个链接,把你的专属链接粘贴到里面,然后放到屏幕中间:

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

图片来源:硅星人

图片来源:硅星人

图片来源:硅星人

然后分享出去就行了,接下来就等着你的网上邻居们给你匿名提问吧!

当有人点进链接并留下了问题之后,你会收到 NGL app 的通知,收件箱会显示你有一条新信息,点进去就能看到问题了:

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

图片来源:硅星人

此时你有两个选择:

1)你可以点击直接回答这个问题,然后跟之前一样的方式发回到你的 Instagram 上;2)如果觉得这个问题非常的有意思,你还可以点击“谁问的”按钮,然后……

支付10美元,来看看提问者究竟是哪个“臭损友”:

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

图片来源:硅星人

没错,NGL 的确是一个免费的产品,主要的问答功能都是免费无门槛。不过它还是要赚钱的,就靠这个10刀/月的增值订阅服务了,付费了之后就可以无限查看提问者身份了。

等等,不是号称匿名问答么?还能付费实名??良心呢???

别着急,这个“讲真"app 的付费功能设计,讲真也是十分坑人:

首先它不会直接告诉你提问者的身份,而是会给你提供一些匿名化的线索,比如提问者的地理位置、使用的手机型号等。至于这些信息够不够猜出来身份,得看用户自己的社工学能力了。

以及其实它其实还有一个$3/月的档位,而且功能跟10刀是一模一样的!但是作为新用户你在首次付费的时候并不知道!必须要先订$10,然后再取消订阅,那个$3的选项才会作为希望你留存付费的选项而出现……

就是这么一个非常简单又有点坑的匿名问答应用,去年年底正式上线之后一直表现平平,直到上个月突然异军突起。它已经创造了属于自己的下载量奇迹,展现出和 Clubhouse、愤怒的小鸟、Instagram 等过往知名的爆红 app 类似的增长趋势。

根据 Data.ai Intelligence(原 App Annie)等应用商城数据工具的报告, NGL 在今年6月就实现了将近700万次下载量,到6月底总计下载量已经达到大约730万次。

更厉害的是,下载量当中的绝大部分密集发生于6月13日到16日的三天之间,使得 NGL 从美国 iOS 免费版的300多名,直接冲到了榜首。直到今天,这款应用仍然霸榜生活方式类子榜单:

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

图片来源:硅星人截取自苹果应用商城官网

通过硅星人的观察,在 TikTok、Instagram 等年轻人居多的社交平台上,NGL 的相关话题和内容浓度一度十分之高,经常被推荐看到。不过七月这几天似乎有被平台算法刻意压制,没有那么经常出现了。

NGL 是和 Instagram “绑定”的,倒是在 TikTok 上被年轻用户疯狂安利。比如在 TikTok 上 #NGL 这个话题标签,最近已经出现被这个匿名问答应用“劫持”的趋势了。

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

相关话题在 TikTok(左)和 Instagram(右)上的截图 图片来源:硅星人

美国媒体采访了一些20岁出头的年轻用户,很多都表示下载 NGL 的主要原因是“看到别人都在玩”、“匿名没压力”、“很刺激”等等。

这款问答软件的爆红,也验证了移动应用的“病毒传播循环”:分享→被看到→安装使用→分享的欲望→再次分享:

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

硅星人还发现了一个细节:刚才提到这个应用不需要注册,直接填写账号进去就能生成链接开始使用,可以说账号验证和绑定的授信过程是缺失的。

硅星人在两台手机上都下载试用了,第一次得到了以我的 ID 为结尾的链接,在第二台上输入 ID 之后,没有账号登录冲突的警告,而是直接给了一个链接,包含我的 ID,但是后面加了一个五位数字。

这样来看,NGL 还是存在一种类似于“抢注”的机制滥用可能性的。

不过从另一个角度来看,这一机制或许也助推了 NGL 下载量的迅速攀升。毕竟应该没人(特别是知名网红)愿意接受自己的 ID 专属链接被别人抢注吧?

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

中年网友:这不是我们玩剩下的

这边年轻 Gen-Z 看什么都新鲜,把 NGL 当成流行趋势来疯狂追捧,那边已经步入中年的千禧一代,则再一次感到自己确实老了:

“匿名问答这概念我们十年前就玩烂了。历史的车轮终于滚回来了?”

的确,NGL 并非匿名问答的发明者。早年在互联网/媒体领域里有很多类似的实验尝试,再后来则是 Reddit 真正把网友在线实时问答这件事发扬光大,也即成了今天人们熟知的 “AMA” (ask me anything) 概念。

不仅知名人物美国前总统奥巴马、科技富豪盖茨、已故科学家霍金等人都做过专场 AMA,任何一个“普通人”都可以通过 AMA 当一个小时明星。在各种各样精彩、荒诞、美好、恐怖和令人乍舌的在线问答当中,网友们可以了解和感受另一个人完全不同的工作、生活状态,以及和普通的身份不成正比的传奇经历。

除了 Reddit 之外,汤不热 (Tumblr)、Live Journal 等网站也推出了专门的问答功能。一系列将在线问答/匿名问答作为核心功能的互联网创业产品,比如 Quora、Ask.fm 和 YikYak 等,随后也应运而生。所以今天的 NGL,只能算是一长串问答产品当中的后辈了。

当然,即使是一个新产品用了过时的概念,如果技术新、体验新、能迎合用户的需求,那它就有爆火的可能。

只是这一次,情况和历史的确有点复杂。因为对于经历过当年匿名问答热火朝天的那一批“中年网友”来说,那时的创伤实在是太深刻和惨痛了。

即使是十年前的互联网,因为提问者的身份被保护,匿名问答网站成为了网络霸凌的重灾区。

以 Ask.fm 为例,这个网站创立于2010年,然而到了2013年,在欧洲就已经有至少9名未成年用户因为不堪言语暴力,选择通过自杀结束自己的生命。

他们死前收到的残忍消息:“你真是又丑又贱”、“你太胖了”、“没有人喜欢你”、“你怎么不去割腕”、“喝敌敌畏吧”、“如果你死了所有人都会开心的”:

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

截图来源:BuzzFeed News

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

截图来源:Insider

除了 Ask.fm 之外,汤不热上也有不少用户曾经在募集匿名提问之后收到了大量毫无来由的人身攻击和污言秽语。情况夸张到了什么程度,以至于当时一些用户(大部分是女生)甚至组成了互助小组,告诫彼此不要看到这些糟糕的评论“上头”。她们还会给彼此发送一些令人心情愉悦的信息,甚至互相寄礼物来作为鼓励。

Ask.fm 的创始人 Mark Terebin 也希望用户们更加积极乐观一些,然而他的说辞反而听起来像是在为平台的不作为开脱。他说问题不在平台,而在于用户本身,在于失败的教育。

直到今天,Ask.fm 仍在运营中。至于 YikYak、Yolo、LMK 等同类产品,后来都发生过被用户起诉、关停,以及被 Snapchat 等依附的社交网络平台中止服务等事件。

当年那些最开始希望通过发布匿名问答来了解网友对自己看法,从而获得外部认可的用户们,也慢慢长大了,不再有时间和心气去和喷子们掰扯了——但这并不意味着她们忘记了当年的痛苦:

“NGL 这个东西直接让我的 Ask.fm PTSD(注:创伤后应激障碍)犯了。”

D4B9CCD3D1602D1E603B7F67C2D23E65FD1066E0_size17_w581_h92.png

来源:Twitter @bell3za

“就算给我钱也不会用 NGL 了,我可是从2012/13汤不热时代活下来的人,受的罪已经够了。”

12.png

来源:Twitter @louisavontrapp

“Ask.fm、Curious cat、Sayouts、NGL(注:四个匿名问答产品)简直是当代的天启四骑士。这些匿名问答软件已经成为骚扰、霸凌和恐吓人们的武器。这里从来没有‘无害的玩笑’,它们只会蚕食你的自尊和心理。滚蛋吧匿名者。”

13.png

来源:Twitter @WRECKsonBernal

这些中年网友的提醒不无道理,但是说归说,骂归骂。和那些“臭名昭著”的匿名问答前辈比起来,NGL 号称从一开始就把用户健康和内容安全放在重要位置,宣称只有安全的匿名才是真的匿名。

它并没有采用人工审核,而是利用“深度学习和基于规则的字符模式匹配算法来过滤掉有害的语言和欺凌行为。”

NGL 采用了一家名叫 Hive 公司提供的文字内容审核模型 API。这个模型号称速度极快,在200毫秒内进行分析并返回结果,而且准确度高达99%,能够抓住存在暴力、仇恨、性骚扰/暗示等恶意倾向的消息。

我用 Hive Moderation API 做了一个测试,发现它对于一些常见的关键词抓的确实准,但是对于一些隐藏了恶意的文本,鉴别能力还有待提高。比如下图左边的最后这句话,在暴力/霸凌上的分类得分都是0,可以说漏网之鱼了。

00后“讲真”上头:爆红匿名应用三天700万下载 中年网友直呼看不懂

图片来源:Hive

作为一个突然爆红的匿名问答应用,NGL 的生命周期能有多长,会不会像一些其它路径类似的产品那样“昙花一现”,没人敢下定论。

但我们知道的是,它绝对不会是最后一个匿名问答产品。

等到00后也过时,Web 3 也过气的时代,还会有更多匿名问答应用,各式各样的产品概念,被改头换面重新发明出来。同样,也还会有更多10后、20后和30后的年轻人在社交网络上寻求外部认可——甚至以自己的心理健康作为代价……

It is an anonymous question and answer product called NGL.UsageIt is very simple: the respondent generates his own link and sends it to TikTok/IG/Twitter. Other netizens can click on it and ask questions anonymously. The user answers in NGL's app, and then po the screenshot to the social network in the same way.

Photo source: Silicon Man intercepted from the official website of Apple App Mall

Just as Clubhouse swept the global Internet at a lightning speed two years ago, the frenzied popularity of NGL is also a little baffling.

It successfully spread the virus last month, and many fans said they had been deeply "poisoned" and could not extricate themselves from the excitement and identity brought about by anonymous questions and answers. On TikTok, a large number of netizens have crazily forwarded and recommended the app, and have even hijacked related topics such as # NGL.

Only in June of this yearMonth, NGLDownloads have exceeded 7.3 million. What's more, most of the downloads took place within three days, making the product's app mall ranking from more than 300 to the top of iOS free apps in the United States.

Videos of Crazy Amway products from overseas netizens can be found everywhere on social networks such as TikTok. Photo sources: Silicon people converge from the Internet.

So who is this NGL, and why is it so popular that it has even caused a lot of controversy on the Internet?

The "tell the truth" thing is so addictive.

NGL is actually the Internet acronym for quot;not gonna lie", which literally translates as "you can't lie".

However, considering the younger generation of overseas netizens' use of this phrase, a more authentic translation should be what we Chinese netizens often say."tell the truth."Yes.

Today, the Silicon people will take you to experience how to play this thing:

First of all, NGL's product mechanism is so simple that it doesn't even register. You just need to fill in your Instagram account to generate a dedicated link (https://ngl.link/ your id). Remember to click the "copy link" button:

Photo Source: Silicon Man

Then, select a shared copy and click the button on the dice to change it:

Source of motion picture: Silicon man

Next, click the sharing button to generate a screenshot of sharing and send it to Instagram's short video function (Stories).

Photo Source: Silicon Man

In the Stories editing interface, click the "sticker" icon, add a link, paste your own link into it, and put it in the middle of the screen:

Photo Source: Silicon Man

Photo Source: Silicon Man

Then share it, and then wait for your online neighbors to ask you questions anonymously.

When someone clicks on the link and leaves a question, you will be notified by NGL app, and your inbox will show that you have a new message. Click on it and you will see the problem:

Photo Source: Silicon Man

You have two choices at this point:

1) you can click to answer this question directly, and then send it back to your Instagram in the same way as before; 2)If you think this question is very interesting, you can also click the "who asked" button, and then …...

Pay $10 to see which "bad friend" the questioner is:

Photo Source: Silicon Man

Yes, NGL is indeed a free product, and the main question and answer functions are free and unfettered. However, it still has to make money, relying on this $10 / month value-added subscription service, after the payment, you can check the identity of the questioner indefinitely.

Wait, isn't it called anonymous Q & A? Can you still pay for your real name? Where's your conscience?

Don't worry, this "tell the truth & quot;app"To tell you the truth, the design of paid functions is also very deceptive:

First of all, it will not directly tell you the identity of the questioner, but will provide you with some anonymous clues, such as the location of the questioner, the model of the phone used, and so on. As to whether this information is enough to guess the identity, it depends on the user's own social work ability.

And in fact, it actually has a $3 / month gear, and the function is exactly the same as $10! But as a new user, you don't know when you pay for the first time! You must subscribe to $10 before you unsubscribe before the $3 option will appear as an option that you want you to keep and pay.

Such a very simple and somewhat crappy anonymous Q & An app has been mediocre since it was officially launched at the end of last year, until it suddenly emerged as a new force last month.It has created a miracle of its own downloads, showing a growth trend similar to that of popular app such as Clubhouse, Angry Birds and Instagram.

According to reports from app mall data tools such as Data.ai Intelligence (formerly App Annie), NGL achieved nearly 7 million downloads in June, with a total of about 7.3 million downloads by the end of June.

To make matters worse, most of the downloads occurred in the three days between June 13 and 16, pushing NGL from more than 300 free versions of iOS in the United States to the top of the list. To this day, the app still dominates the sublist of lifestyle categories:

Photo source: Silicon Man intercepted from the official website of Apple App Mall

Through the observation of Silicon people, in TikTok, Instagram and other young people and other social platforms, NGL related topics and content concentration was once very high, often recommended to see. However, the past few days in July seem to be deliberately suppressed by platform algorithms, not so often.

NGL is "bound" to Instagram, but it is crazy Amway by young users on TikTok. For example, the hashtag # NGL on TikTok has recently been "hijacked" by the anonymous Q & An app.

Screenshots of related topics on TikTok (left) and Instagram (right) Source: Silicon Man

The US media interviewed some young users in their early 20s, and many of them said that the main reason for downloading NGL was "seeing other people playing", "anonymous without pressure", "very exciting" and so on.

The popularity of this Q & A software also validates the "virus spread cycle" of mobile applications: sharing "seen" installation using "sharing desire" to share again:

Silicon people also found a detail: just mentioned that the application does not need to register, just fill in the account to generate a link to start using, it can be said that the credit process of account verification and binding is missing.

The Silicon Man downloaded and tried it on both phones and got the link ending with my ID for the first time. After typing ID on the second station, there was no warning of account login conflict. Instead, they gave a link directly containing my ID, but followed by a five-digit number.

From this point of view, there is still a possibility of abuse of the mechanism similar to "preemptive registration" in NGL.

But from another point of view, this mechanism may also contribute to the rapid rise in NGL downloads.After all, no one (especially well-known online celebrities) is willing to accept their own ID links to be preempted by others, right?

Middle-aged netizen: this is not the rest of our game.

On this side, the young Gen-Z looks at everything new and crazily pursues NGL as a fashion trend, while the middle-aged millennials there feel that they are really old again:

"We broke down the concept of anonymous Q & A ten years ago. Has the wheel of history finally rolled back? "

Indeed, NGL is not the inventor of anonymous Q & A. In the early years, there were many similar experiments in the Internet / media field, and then it was Reddit who really putNetizens' online real-time question and answerThis matter was carried forward, that is, it became the concept of "AMA" (ask me anything) that people are familiar with today.

Not only well-known figures such as former US President Barack Obama, tech tycoon Gates and the late scientist Stephen Hawking have done special AMA, but any "ordinary person" can be a star for an hour through AMA. In a variety of wonderful, absurd, beautiful, scary and breathtaking online Q & A, netizens can understand and feel another person's completely different work, life, and legendary experiences that are not proportional to their ordinary identity.

In addition to Reddit, websites such as Tumblr and Live Journal have also launched special question-and-answer functions. A series of Internet start-up products with online Q & A / anonymous Q & An as the core function, such as Quora, Ask.fm and YikYak, also emerged as the times require. So today's NGL can only be regarded as a descendant of a long list of Q & A products.

Of course, even if a new product uses an outdated concept, it is likely to explode if the technology is new, the experience is new, and it can meet the needs of users.

Only this time, the situation and history are a little complicated. Because for those "middle-aged netizens" who experienced the anonymous Q & A boom at that time, the trauma at that time was too deep and painful.

Even on the Internet a decade ago, anonymous Q & A sites became the hardest hit by cyber bullying because the identity of the questioner was protected.

Ask.fm, for example, was founded in 2010, but by 2013, at least nine underage users in Europe had chosen to end their lives by committing suicide because of verbal violence.

The cruel messages they received before their death: "you are so ugly and cheap", "you are too fat", "No one likes you", "Why don't you cut your wrists", "drink dichlorvos", "everyone will be happy if you die":

Screenshot source: BuzzFeed News

Screenshot source: Insider

In addition to Ask.fm, many users on Tang not hot have received a lot of unprovoked personal attacks and foul language after raising anonymous questions. How exaggerated was the situation that some users (mostly girls) even formed support groups to warn each other not to see these bad comments. They also send each other pleasant messages and even send each other gifts as encouragement.

Mark Terebin, the founder of Ask.fm, also wants users to be more positive and optimistic, but his words sound like an excuse for the platform's inaction. He said that the problem lies not in the platform, but in the users themselves, in the failure of education.

Until today, Ask.fm is still in operation. As for similar products such as YikYak, Yolo, LMK, and so on, they have been sued, shut down, and suspended by social networking platforms such as Snapchat.

At that time, users who initially hoped to gain external recognition by posting anonymous questions and answers to know what netizens thought of them also grew up. They no longer have the time and spirit to talk to the losers-but that doesn't mean they have forgotten the pain of that year:

"the NGL thing directly made my Ask.fm PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) a crime."

Source: Twitter @ bell3za

"even if you give me the money, I won't use NGL. I've suffered enough since 2012 when the soup was not hot."

Source: Twitter @ louisavontrapp

"Ask.fm, Curious cat, Sayouts and NGL are the four horsemen of the apocalypse. These anonymous question-and-answer software have become weapons of harassment, bullying and intimidation. There are never 'harmless jokes' here, they will only erode your self-esteem and psychology. Piss off, Anonymous. "

Source: Twitter @ WRECKsonBernal

The reminders of these middle-aged netizens are not without reason, but in the end, scolding and scolding.Compared with its "infamous" anonymous Q & A predecessors, NGL claims to have put user health and content security in an important position from the very beginning.Claims that only safe anonymity is really anonymous.

Instead of using manual auditing, it uses "deep learning and rule-based character pattern matching algorithms to filter out harmful language and bullying."

NGL uses API, a text content review model provided by a company called Hive. The model claims to be extremely fast, analyzes and returns results within 200 milliseconds, has an accuracy of 99%, and can catch messages of malicious tendencies such as violence, hatred, sexual harassment / suggestion.

I did a test with Hive Moderation API and found that it is accurate for some common keywords, but for some hidden malicious text, the discrimination ability still needs to be improved. For example, the last sentence on the left side of the picture below, the classification score on violence / bullying is 0, which can be said to be a fish out of the net.

Photo Source: Hive

As an anonymous Q & An app that has suddenly become popular, no one dares to say how long NGL's life cycle will be and whether it will be as "short-lived" as some other products with similar paths.

But what we do know is that it will never be the last anonymous Q & A product.

When the post-00s generation is out of date and Web 3 is out of date, there will be more anonymous Q & An applications and a variety of product concepts that will be reinvented. Similarly, more young people in the post-10s, 20s and 30s will seek external recognition on social networks-even at the expense of their mental health.

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