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Business
17 Oct 2017

Facebook buys just 9-weeks old 'teen compliment app'

Viral anonymous app TBH acquired by Facebook

Social networking giant Facebook has acquired nine-week-old anonymous app - TBH (as in "to be honest") - teens in the US are currently obsessed with.

TBH is a polling app that allows users to send compliments and positive feedback to each other through anonymous, multiple-choice quiz-style questions.

Though the deal amount was undisclosed, TechCrunch said it was for less than $100mn.

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In context

Viral anonymous app TBH acquired by Facebook

Compelled by the ways Facebook could help us: TBH

TBH stated, "We were compelled by the ways they (Facebook) could help us realize TBH's vision and bring it to more people." The start-up said TBH app would continue to be a standalone program but will only have more resources.

Facebook, TBH share a common goal

Facebook

Facebook, TBH share a common goal

Facebook and TBH share "a common goal building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together," said the social media giant.

Facebook said it was impressed by TBH using polls and messages to achieve the goal.

It added that the start-up would expand and build more positive experiences with the help of Facebook's resources.

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Success

TBH's success, a sign teens crave positive interactions online

TBH co-founders, Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza, and Nicolas Ducdodon, would continue working on the app at Facebook's headquarters.

Though TBH was launched only weeks ago, it has already been downloaded 5 million times.

What makes TBH different from other anonymous apps like Sarahah and Yik Yak is that it lets users exchange only compliments and positive feedback.

Meeting people's emotional needs

TBH said, "While the last decade of the internet has been focused on open communication, the next milestone will be around meeting people's emotional needs." The new anonymous app encourages people, especially teenagers, to be nice to each other.

How does TBH work?

TBH app

How does TBH work?

TBH lets users create surveys with questions like "who has the best smile?" and give the names of four friends as options, and forward them to friends (registered contacts).

TBH asks questions with an option of selecting any one friend.

It notifies a user whenever they are selected by someone in any survey. But the details of who chose them are kept anonymous.

Word of mouth

Initially available only in some states in the US

Unlike other anonymous apps, TBH has not become a tool for trolling/harassment.

It was initially available only to some users in selected states.

Nikita Bier said: "We shipped it (TBH) to one school in Georgia. 40% of the school downloaded it the first day. The next day it was in three more schools, and then the next day it was in 300 schools."

Facebook to take on Snapchat?

TBH would help Facebook compete with Snapchat in a better manner. A recent survey showed that Snapchat was the preferred social media platform for teens. However, new TBH app also targets teenagers and has been viral in the US.

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