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Saudi Arabian messaging app soars to top of App Store

Markus Schreiber / AP

There's a hot new anonymous messaging app on the block: Sarahah ("honesty" in Arabic). The app, created by Saudi Arabia-based developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, has been booming in the App Store recently, becoming the No. 1 most downloaded app in 25 countries last week, according to App Annie.

  • Sarahah has achieved this without any outside funding, in part thanks to free app hosting from Microsoft.
  • The age-old anonymous problem: Not surprisingly, Sarahah, which began as a tool for employees to anonymously send feedback to their bosses, is already facing the troubles that similar apps have faced before it: combating trolls and bullies. It already has a couple of tools to block and flag abusive messages and Tawfiq is well-aware that it will be one of the app's biggest challenges.
  • Check out profiles of the app in the Financial Times and New York Magazine.