Facebook is notoriously famous about its habit of acquiring any remotely famous app. It all started with the legendary WhatsApp acquisition, later moving to other apps like Instagram and Oculus and the list goes on. It even tried to buy Snapchat back in 2013 but was rebuffed. (and later developed Instagram into a hybrid between itself and Snapchat) Facebook has been a lot in the news lately due to the raging scandal of data and privacy breach. The news had been a such a huge taser shock to the world. Investigations have been going on about the issue since then.
Facebook had acquired an app called ‘Tbh’, which ranked #1 in the app stores just within a few weeks of the launch. The app was full of light-hearted banter and positive feedbacks in the form of quizzes, mainly aimed at teens. It provided so much entertainment and since the user’s details are anonymous there, it created a lot of excitement.
What’s tbh all about?
The app worked in a pretty simple way. It had multiple quizzes, with lines like ‘Most likely to fall asleep in the class’ or ‘Always picks tomatoes off the pizza’ in it, and the user can select who is likely to do it from the options given below the line. These options are curated from the contacts of the user. Once the user selects the name, a notification goes to the selected person (only if she/he is using the app) with the original user’s details being anonymous. This guessing game kept getting interesting due to the quirky lines of the app.
This app hit the top of the charts because of two main reasons. One, this was like a breath of fresh air as compared to other anonymous feedback apps like Sarahah or Sayatme, (where there is always so much negativity) because tbh has zero negative content on it. Two, anonymity makes for an interesting game and the quirky lines are just an addition to the anticipation built around it.
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Facebook had owned this app for the last eight months, and it decided to shut it down. The reason stated was low usage and it is said to be deleted soon, erasing all the user data. The interesting news is that the four founders of the app – Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Nicolas Dukdodon and Kyle Zaragoza are staying with Facebook, working on new software and apps.
What didn’t work?
Tbh looked like a great platform for the teens to play nice, but the apparent low engagement proves it to be an underwhelming performer. Moves and Hello are the other two apps that are being shut as well. The increased usage of Facebook among teens is what that pushed the acquisition of TBH in the first place. However, Facebook might not feel threatened anymore since the usage of Instagram and the stories and highlights being still popular. The new ask me a question feature is doing pretty well, bringing lots of attention to the app again.
Facebook is also reportedly trying to get its way back to the teens and young adults. It is said to be going by the trail and error way to see what would interest the fickle demographic.