Facebook has acquired a two-month old messaging app that allows users to send anonymous compliments to each other. The app, tbh, is iOS-only for now and is hugely popular among teens in the US. It has already notched up 5 million downloads, according to iTunes, and its pre-set messages ensure that there are only “positive vibes” being spread. This is contrary to bullying witnessed in the recent viral messaging app Sarahah that had set out to achieve something entirely different.
Facebook announced that tbh would continue to operate independently, thus making it similar to the social media giant’s WhatsApp and Instagram acquisitions. tbh or ‘to be honest’ engages youngsters with pre-set multiple-choice question polls about their friends. Once they choose an answer, those are relayed as compliments or positive messages to the desired user. There are questions like ‘Best to bring to a party?’, ‘Who has the best smile’, ‘Could see becoming a poet?’ and so on. The app is said to have recorded over 1 billion polls already. It is believed that the app is positively impacting the mental health of teens, and high school students in the US. ALSO READ: Sarahah app: Do we really need an ‘honest’ messaging app?
Announcing its decision to “join” the Facebook community, tbh said, “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… When we met with Facebook, we realized that we shared many of the same core values about connecting people through positive interactions. Going forward, your experience on tbh won’t change and we’ll continue to build the features you love—now with plenty more resources.” ALSO READ: Facebook might soon launch Talk messaging app for teens: Report
According to reports, Facebook would have paid close to $100 million for the app that has about 2.5 million daily active users. However, no formal figure could be ascertained. “tbh and Facebook share a common goal — of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together. We’re impressed by the way tbh is doing this by using polling and messaging, and with Facebook’s resources tbh can continue to expand and build positive experiences,” Facebook said in a statement to The Verge.