Facebook announced early in the week that it had acquired TBH. This is a mobile app targeted at students in high school as well as in college. The app conducts anonymous polling and lets users compliment each other anonymously. Currently, the app which is only available on iOS for now and which has only been around since August, has managed to attract over five million users. The number of messages that have so far been exchanged on TBH is over one billion.
On iTunes TBH isat the moment the number one free app ahead of popular apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. The app was launched on August 3 this year in one high school in the state of Georgia and by the end of its first week the app had expanded to over 3,000 schools in the state.
After downloading the app users are required to let the app access their contacts list before they are asked to respond to polls concerning the people in their social circle. The polls involve questions such as the funniest person in their circle of friends or who is the best party planner. Once users are nominated by someone they are notified. One key thing about the questions is that they are all positive and are different from caustic anonymous apps such as Yik Yak.
“When we set out to build TBH, we wanted to create a community that made us feel happier and more confident about ourselves. We felt that people craved genuine and positive interactions in their online experiences,” wrote the founders of TBH in an online posting after the acquisition.
According to Techcrunch the price for the app was under $100 million and there will therefore be no need for regulatory approval. The deal will see the founders of the app, Nikita Bier, Kyle Zaragoza, Erik Hazzard and Nicolas Ducdodon will become employees of Facebook and will be based in Menlo Park, Calfiornia – the headquarters of the social media giant.
The acquisition comes at a time when Facebook has been desperate to clone or buy apps that are popular with teenagers. With the typical 16-year old having been a toddler when Facebook was launching in 2004, today’s teenagers see the social media network as a platform for their grandparents and parents to conduct political discussions, post family photos and basically overshare their lives. But apps such as Snapchat and now TBH offer them a platform that is more private.