I have a secret to tell you: There is a mobile app you've probably never heard of that gets 2.5 billion page views a month, substantially more than all of CNN. It's called Whisper, and the youths just love it.
Here's how it works. Anyone can post an anonymous message to the service in the form of an image macro: text overlaid on a picture. When you open the app, you see six such images. Each one has a "secret" on it. You can respond to a message publicly or privately, choosing a public anonymous post or a private pseudonymous chat. Users don't have a public identity in the app. While they do have persistent handles, there's no way to contact them except *through* the messages they post. The app is PostSecret, optimized like FarmVille.
Fascinatingly, when you open the app on the phone, you can post and see public messages, but any time you want to see an archive of your own activity, you have to enter a four-digit pin number. So even if your phone were to fall into the wrong hands (i.e. parents), the posts and messages would still be hidden from view.
For the past couple weeks, I've been playing with Whisper. It is not for me. In fact, I hate it. It's like being granted telepathy, but there's a catch: your superpower only works in middle school bathrooms. UGH. Every mating strategy a 14-year old has ever thought of is now anonymously displayed for one to thumb through. If you've ever worried that our technologies are changing kids, Whisper answers unequivocally: "Nope, just as annoying as ever."
On the other hand, this app is fascinating. It's the social experience of the street ported to the web, without all the persistent, real-name trappings of other networks. The kinds of interactions it allows people to have are closer to what happens at a mall or county fair than anything else on the Internet: A person you know nothing about says something, you reply, and that can continue or end. That's it.