Tangst was created in Autumn 2005 by a student at Enloe High School. While historically its visitor base has been predominantly comprised of Enloe students, many users from different ages and regions have posted to discuss topics.

After an inquiry in January 2006, the second largest contingent of Tangsters (as the site users refer to themselves) were discovered to hail from the city of Boulder, Colorado, many frequenting Tangst's affiliate, The Walls Have Eyes.

While many visitors and posters to Tangst choose to remain anonymous, there are some who decide to post under an alias. However, the policy of Tangst has been to avoid defamation of visitors and unrelated persons alike. Therefore, posts reporting on the secrets of others using real names in a Tangst are edited and/or censored to remove personally identifying attributions.

On the Tangst site sidebar, the PostSecret Project and the website Group Hug are credited as inspirations of the creation of Tangst.