Facebook announced on Monday that it bought tbh. It’s an almost three-month-old anonymous messaging app. It’s been popular with teenagers since its launch in August.
The acquisition shows that the social networking giant wants to be part of the increasing popularity of anonymous messaging. This trend has been around for two years.
Out of nowhere, the app became one of the top free downloads in Apple’s App Store in recent weeks, even though it only launched last month. On App Store, tbh stated that five million people have already downloaded the app in the past few months. Furthermore, it revealed to have 2.5 million active users per day.
The popularity of tbh is similar to Sarahah’s. Just like tbh, Sarahah is an anonymous messaging app and it became popular among teens over the summer. These two apps are defined as social apps that enable users to send messages anonymously. Originally, Sarahah was designed for employees so they could give honest but anonymous feedback to their employers.
tbh is a great way for Facebook to attract young users. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network continues to attract older users. In addition to tbh, Facebook also acquired Instagram to attract younger users. It also copies Snapchat’s features to entice young users further. Snapchat is currently popular among young individuals.
The app’s name is an Internet shorthand for “to be honest.” Its name fits appropriately because the app is intended for users to offer anonymous feedback to individuals they know over the Internet.
But tbh is different from other anonymous messaging apps. The reason for this is that users can’t communicate directly with each other.
They can’t send anonymous messages to other individuals. Instead, they participate in online polls and rate their friends in various categories.
The process of rating their friends is entirely anonymous. When you’re selected in a poll, you’ll receive notifications.
Unfortunately, the said app can only be used by people in 34 states. The app is designed for teenagers. When signing up, it would ask users to reveal what grade they are in or they can choose another option if they’re no longer in high school.
It defines itself as “the only anonymous app with positive vibes.” Thus, some experts say that it’s not the same as other popular anonymous messaging apps.
Sarahah, for instance, is considered as a potential avenue for online abuse. Critics pointed out that the app and other anonymous apps could be used to send innocuous and hurtful anonymous messages.
But tbh is different because users can’t attack their peers. The app’s developers stated that all poll submissions are moderated strictly. Although there are thousands of submitted polls the app received per day, only a small portion of those polls are accepted.
Users of tbh can move their activity on the app to other social apps, like Snapchat or Instagram. They can share polling results on those secondary apps.
Despite the acquisition, the app will operate as a standalone app.
Currently, only iOS users can download and use the app. The app’s developers didn’t state when it’ll be available for Android users.