19 Oct'17

Facebook buys app that encourages positive interactions amongst teens


The app company tbh (an abbreviation for ‘to be honest’) announced on their website, ‘we’re joining Facebook to continue our mission’. Their mission being to ‘create a community that made us feel happier and more confident about ourselves.’


In their website post, tbh state ‘We felt that people craved genuine and positive interactions in their online experiences’.


On iTunes tbh is defined as an app ‘where friends tell you what they like about you.’ It works by adding your friends from you contacts, answering multiple-choice questions, such as ‘Who has the best smile?’, and a user is notified when have been selected.


The app has had 5 million downloads and has 2.5 million daily active users in the 9 weeks since its launch. Teenagers have been expressing their love for the app on Twitter with comments such as; ‘I just made plans for Friday night thanks to the tbh app’ and ‘download the tbh app cause it’s awesome and makes everyone smile’.


We did it! 1 🅱️illion polls answered 🎉

A post shared by tbh (@downloadtbh) on

TechCrunch provide additional information about the app including, people answer questions anonymously, all responses are saved to allow individuals to browse the positive comments that people have said about you and there is a limit of 12 questions an hour.


In an interview with TechCrunch last month (prior to Facebook acquiring the app), Nikita Bier, co-founder of tbh, said: ‘Improving people’s self-esteem — that’s been the most rewarding aspect of this product’. Bier adds, ‘Raising a ton of money, all that other stuff, it’s just an accessory to the goal. The goal is, can we make this generation happier?’


TechCrunch believe that Facebook paid less than $100 million, but the price has not been confirmed. It is known that as part of the deal tbh’s four creators will become formal Facebook employees, working at the headquarters to continue develop their app.


Facebook and the tbh team have released statements equally expressing the fact that both parties share the same core values for connecting people with positive interactions.


Facebook are known for copying successful apps, like Houseparty. TechCrunch suggest that the app’s ‘strong brand name, distinctive design and explosive early traction’ may have influenced Facebook’s decision to team-up rather than be a competitor.


Recode is of the opinion that Facebook buying tbh was more of a test rather than investing in the “next big thing.” To expand, Recode state that ‘Facebook wanted to reach teens, and TBH already does that. By acquiring the app, Facebook found a cheap way to test out something new and ensure that TBH won’t become the next Snapchat as a standalone app.’


The app is currently only available in the US (in just under 40 states) on iPhones.