Facebook Just Bought Top Teen App TBH. Here's What You Need To Know

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Credit: tbh

If you've never heard of the app TBH that's fine, but to be honest, it's something you're going to hear about a lot more: Facebook just acquired it Monday for an undisclosed amount.

In short, TBH (which stands for, you guessed it, "to be honest") is an anonymized polling app with a positive bent that allows people to share how they feel about friends.

TBH has been the most downloaded app on numerous occasions on Apple's iTune Store. According to marketing intelligence research outfit Sensor Tower, it was downloaded more than 3 million times on iTunes during the month of September.

It's currently only available in 37 states and has yet to arrive on Google Play, but the company says it has plans to expand.

TBH is hot right now, in part, because everyone's mom and dad are now on Facebook. The social media giant is somewhat struggling to attract new, younger users in the U.S., as the audience flocks to Snapchat and Instagram to connect with friends, according to eMarketer.

How it works
The company dubs itself as "the only anonymous app with positive vibes," but most anonymous messaging apps like the now defunct "Secret" have failed because they can't prevent bullying or hateful, hurtful content from propping up. TBH might be the first to figure out how to prevent this by offering polls and questions that have a caveat of having a "good vibe" feel to them.

"Most likely to appear on Saturday Night Live" or "I think about them more than I talk to them" are examples of questions that pop up on TBH. Answers are multiple choice, and users select four friends they think are "too lit to be legit."

Credit: tbh

Users can be awarded "gems" for each time they get picked in a poll; a gem is pink if a girl is selected and blue for boys. People who don't identify as either boy or girl are given purple gems.

Friends can only be added through a user's contacts, a person's username, friends-of-friends or by joining a school network. In fact, the much sought after demographic is known to request TBH to add their schools into the app.

According to TBH, all polls must be appropriate for those 13 and older, be uplifting and not be offensive to any group.

So how does TBH make money?
The company itself says it has yet to come up with a monetization model and is currently soliciting feedback from users. From its FAQ page: "We don't have plans to monetize tbh right now but when we do, we'll be soliciting feedback from the community to make sure it complements the experience."

Brand integration is a little difficult to imagine at this stage: it does not feel like the most authentic activity for teens to vote on their faovrite CPG brand.

And neither Facebook nor TBH's four co-creators -- Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza and Nicolas Ducdodon -- disclosed financial terms of the deal. The price paid was likely less than $100 million according to repoting by TechCrunch, thereby circumventing regulatory approval.

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