Facebook Just Bought tbh, an App for Teens You’ve Never Heard of Because You’re Old

October 17, 2017

2:30 pm

Haven’t felt the sands of time slipping through your fingers yet today? Facebook just shelled out to acquire an app for teens that didn’t even exist last July. tbh, an annoymous messaging app for teens, debuted in August, and has earned 5 million downloads and 2.5 million daily active users in the last nine weeks.

Facebook paid an undisclosed amount (somewhere under 100 million, TechCrunch reports) for the app, which it will continue running in the future.

So why does Facebook want tbh? Because they need to stay connected to the elusive youth of today, aka Gen Z, and they don’t want to take the time to reverse-engineer an app that can do the trick as well as tbh already does. But the truly interesting element here is what the new teen app bring to the table: Positivity.

“Using Social Media for Good”

If you’ve heard of the app at all — and you’re over the age of 20 — chances are good that you were listening to the talk given by Kara McGuire, the Advisory Leader at CEB Iconoculture Consumer Insights, to the 2017 Innovate Celebrate conference last week. Here’s what she had to say about the importance of the app, taken from this video starting at about 20:30.

“Has anyone seen this app? It’s pretty new? TBH. The whole reason it exists is so that you can compliment your friends. It was the number one most downloaded free app on iTunes when I put this presentation together last month. And it’s different from some of the other apps where you can answer questions using your friends who are also part of the app because [the questions] can’t be negative. They’re all positive questions. You could pick from four friends [to determine] who has the most integrity.


“This idea of using social media for good, using apps as tools to make people feel good: In fact, tbh comes from a phenomenon where kids are basically using Instagram to talk about the good things about their friends. With this generation, they’re looking to connect in positive ways.”

One of Gen Z’s defining traits could be kindness, which sounds way healthier then every other past generation’s traits. But it’s also probably a response to feeling more pressure to get their life perfect and get the world back on track. Check out a breakdown of Kara McGuire’s complete talk over here for more.

In Conclusion:

Facebook is taking over your phone. In other news, water is wet.

Read more about Facebook’s latest moves here at TechCo

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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