Anonymous apps Fizz and Sidechat compete for students’ attention
Fizz and Sidechat, two competing anonymous private chat apps, came to campus in the first few weeks of the semester. Both apps have recruited students to promote their respective platforms by offering free products, such as hats, t-shirts or money to those who post about them on social media.
Fizz was started by two Stanford college dropouts, Teddy Solomon and Ashton Cofer, in July 2021. According to its website, Fizz’s goal is to “facilitate authentic conversations through anonymity while being appropriately moderated by d ‘other students in the community’. Students can sign up for Fizz with their university-affiliated email address, where they will be limited to connecting with other students at their school.
Sidechat was released seven months after Fizz, in February 2022. The founders of Sidechat remain anonymous, but according to The Harvard Crimson, Sidechat “allows its users to share memes, jokes, and confessions on a Reddit-style forum with those who attend it. the same school” in an anonymous format.
While some students have flocked to the apps, many say they’re not impressed, especially since the app appears to be redundant with existing platforms like Tiger Confessions.
“[It’s] a step back from Ambassador Bumble,” said Sullivan Meyer ’24.
Meyer is a news editor for the Daily Princetonian.
Jonathan Ma ’24, however, explained that one of the apps, Sidechat, differs from Tiger Confessions in that it’s almost exclusively populated by memes rather than written “confessions”. Ma downloaded Sidechat after seeing one of his friends using it and said he scrolls through content every day.
“It adds a very marginal benefit to my life,” Ma said. “The slightest improvement.”
Both Fizz and Sidechat marketers have established themselves in popular campus locations, such as the Frist Campus Center, U-Store, and Yeh & New College West Dining Hall.
A Fizz à Frist promoter asked Jocelyn Li ’26 if she wanted a hat as she was returning from a late meal.
Li said she said yes and reached for the hat, but the promoter stopped her from grabbing it. “[He said that] “You have to download an app first,” she said.
Sean Wang ’24 saw Sidechat promoters near Yeh College. He asked them whether or not they were paid per download. The promoters said they get paid by the hour, so there’s less incentive to promote it.
He took a free cookie but said, “[Sidechat] didn’t really appeal to me – I’ve never been in Tiger Confessions or apps like that.
Bhoomika Chowdhary is a writer who often covers business/policy and academic research. She can be reached at [email protected]. She is also editor-in-chief for the “Prince”.
Edward Tian is a news and features writer experimenting with data-driven reporting and alternative story formats (ASF). He can be reached on Twitter @edward_the6.