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Zain-Alabdin Twafiq is a Saudi Arabian developer who studied computer science. His career began working for an oil company. He came up with the idea of creating a web page when he realized that people gave prefer to criticize in the workplace when they do it anonymously. In 2016, Zain-Alabdin created and founded the Sarahah website that allows people to comment questions anonymously.
In 2017, he began to apply the advice he read in Malcolm Gladwell's book "The key to success," and the website broke a record of visits. Influenced by this book, Zain-Alabdin Twafiq approached a friend whom he considered an influencer to test the application and recommend it. The objective of its founder was to make the application reach a thousand users.
In a short time, Sarahah went from 70 users to thousands. After that boom, the application began to spread like a virus in all Arab countries.
For Sarahah to have greater reach, Zain-Alabdin Twafiq created a mobile device version. With this objective, Zain-Alabdin Twafiq hired the services of a company to create a mobile app and the first English version of the device.
At first, Sarahah was used by Arab expats in other countries. However, Western people began to adopt it. The point of most significant growth of the application occurred when Snapchat made an update that allowed users to add links to websites. Three days later, Sarahah reached the peak of downloads on the App Store and Play Store. To devote time to the demands of its users, Tawfiq began considering leaving his job to spend full time to the development of the application.
The application created by Twafiq quickly reached 300 million users worldwide. However, the app was withdrawn in a short time because users began using it to cyberbullying.
The ban on the App Store and Play Store stopped the rising race of the Sarahah app. However, its founder was not disappointed and continued with the web application that is currently the 102nd page in Saudi Arabia.
In Sarahah, Tawfiq could see different users among those who were NGOs who used it to receive reports of sexual assault. This use served as inspiration for Enoff, an application under development that would allow people to report crimes anonymously.
Tawfiq expects this application to have a more positive use than Sarahah. For avoid cyberbullying, Sarahah's team is testing Google's machine learning tools to identify the negative language and block it more effectively.