Facebook might be seeing their next Instagram in a two-month-old start-up tbh, which stands for “to be honest.” The social networking giant has acquired the anonymous polling startup, which will be allowed to function somewhat independently.
In the short period of two months that it has been out, the app has been a viral hit in the United States. According to TechCrunch, the deal has been finalized at less than $ 100 million, and the four members will become employees of Facebook.
The tbh app is designed around teenagers, who send positive feedback to one another by answering some anonymous, quiz-style polls. Users can create and send surveys anonymously to their friends with questions like “Best to bring to a party?” or “Could see becoming a poet?” and so on.
Once the users create their own quiz, the TBH team reviews it, and thereafter, gives a green or red signal. The user can unlock and send more questions depending on how often he or she has been picked to answer a question.
The TBH team says that they worked backward from the idea that every user would want to read about themselves. It is about telling all the strengths and things that a user is good at, and everything that makes a user happy. A user is notified if they are selected as who “does the most …” or is “the biggest underdog,” and the user who made the choice is kept anonymous. Also, all the answers are saved so that the user can read them whenever they want.
On its acquisition, tbh said, “We were compelled by the ways they could help us realize tbh’s vision and bring it to more people.” The social networking giant, on the other hand, stated that both tbh and Facebook are guided by a common goal of building a community and empowering people to share in ways that bring them 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,” the company said.
Following the acquisition, tbh will surely get a larger user base. For Facebook, the acquisition means it has one more social app that is attracting users, especially teens. To keep an eye on such targets, Facebook takes help from analytics firms such as Onavo that tracks users’ moves, as well as, emerging trends in products, notes Quartz.
Why was Facebook particularly interested in tbh, given that several other apps such as Sarahah, Yik Yak and Secret are already out there? The probable reason could be the criticism from people that such apps can be used by teenagers to bully each other and gossip without any consequences. Tbh, on the other hand, is all about positivity.
One more reason could be, Facebook has seen a drop in teenagers on its platform as more of them are interested in photo and video sharing apps such Snapchat and Instagram, according to a forecast by EMarketer in August. At the time, EMarketer analyst Oscar Orozco told Bloomberg News, “Teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged — logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform.”