CALIFORNIA: Facebook Inc has acquired tbh, an app popular among teens, as the world’s largest social network looks to attract more users.
The app, an acronym for “To be Honest”, allows users to anonymously answer multiple choice questions about friends, who then receive the poll results as compliments.
Over 5 million people have downloaded the app and sent over a billion messages in the past few weeks, tbh said on Monday.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The app, launched this summer in 36 US states only, has received more than five million downloads in a short space of time, thanks to its unique twist on the anonymous-messaging model of previous viral hits such as Secret, YikYak and Sarahah.
The model allows for the same sort of pleasant interaction with friends that previous anonymous messaging apps have enabled at their best moments, receiving nice messages from people who might be too embarrassed to say the same in person – as well as enabling a fair amount of anonymous flirting.
But it avoids the downside of many of its competitors, which is their capacity for anonymous bullying. By forcing users to only communicate through pre-checked questions, the app can keep things positive.
It seems to have worked: in a statement posted to the company’s website, TBH said that more than 1bn messages had been sent since it launched.
At least for the moment, the acquisition won’t change how TBH works. Similar to Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook is leaving the app to run largely unaltered, with the same staff now operating from its Menlo Park headquarters.