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10 Things You Should Know About tbh, the App for Teens That Facebook Just Acquired

Tbh is an anonymous comment app popular among teens and tweens.
10 Things You Should Know About tbh, the App for Teens That Facebook Just Acquired
Image credit: tbh
5 min read

Facebook yesterday announced it had acquired tbh, one of today’s most popular apps among teens. But just what is it?

Tbh is an anonymous compliment app geared towards tweens and teens. Unlike the now-deceased Yik Yak and Sarahah, which often incite negative gossip, tbh only allows its users to share positive things.

Related: Is Your Organization Playing the 'Gossip Game?'

But the real question is: Why would Facebook even want to acquire tbh? Well, shortly after its launch in August, the app skyrocketed in popularity, quickly becoming the number one free app in Apple’s App Store. It gained 2.5 million subscribers and was only available in a few states. While Facebook has been losing its appeal to this younger audience, the company’s new acquisition might be to help tap back into this demographic. And like it did with Instagram and Whatsapp, the social media giant can use its power to help grow tbh, expanding it to every state and even outside the country.

Here’s everything you need to know about tbh.

1. It's a compliment app.

Tbh is an anonymous comment app. After signing up, selecting their school, gender and grade, users are presented with nice, fun polls with questions such as who is “going to win an Academy Award,” who will be the “next international fashion icon” and other yearbook superlative-like nominations. Users are presented with four options of friends to choose from for that specific question. If they don’t think any of those friend options fit the bill, they can hit “shuffle” or “skip.” Users can also make up their own polls as long as they are positive.

2. “Tbh” is an acronym.

The name is short for “to be honest.”

3. It’s all about positivity.

Anonymous comment apps such as Yik Yak and Sarahah usually wind up with loads of negative and derogatory comments and gossip on them. However, tbh’s goal is the opposite. In fact, the app only allows positive comments and polls. In a statement to TechCrunch, one of the app’s co-creators Nikita Bier explained: “We think the next milestone is thinking about social platforms in terms of love and positivity. We think that’s what’s been missing from social products since the inception of the internet.”

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4. It’s totally anonymous.

The app is totally anonymous except for a person’s gender. So when a user is chosen for a poll, they receive a notification but only the gender of the people who voted for them is revealed. A person also has the option of “prefer not to say” when inputting their gender upon sign up.

5. It’s designed for tweens and teens.

The app is geared towards kids and teenagers age 13 and older, particularly those in school. With Snapchat and Instagram Stories, Facebook has been losing steam among its younger audience. With tbh’s appeal to teens, Facebook might be able to re-attract this younger generation.

6. It’s only available in nine states right now.

Tbh initially launched at a school in Georgia and by the first day of its launch, 40 percent of the student body had downloaded it. So far, it’s available in nine states including Florida, Washington, Rhode Island, Texas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts and California. With the help of Facebook, not only will the app be able to quickly expand to every state in the U.S. but also internationally in different languages.

7. It’s one of the most popular free apps.

Having only debuted in August, the app quickly became one of the most popular app among teens in Apple’s App Store this September.

8. It gained 2.5 million subscribers in a matter of months.

Right now, it’s the number one free download in the Apple app store, and has a whopping 2.5 million subscribers.

9. Tbh will stay tbh.

Even though Facebook acquired the popular app for an undisclosed amount, not much will change. Its four co-creators, Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza and Nicolas Ducdodon, will move to Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters and according to Fortune, Facebook plans to keep tbh running as a standalone service as well as keep its name and logo.

Related: The Secret to an Engaged Workforce and a Gossip-Free Office

10. Tbh and Facebook have similar values.

While the services themselves are very different, tbh and Facebook actually have one important thing in common: their values. In an announcement post, tbh wrote, “When we met with Facebook, we realized that we shared many of the same core values about connecting people through positive interactions. Most of all, we were compelled by the ways they could help us realize our vision and bring it to more people.”

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