Facebook acquires anonymous teen compliment app tbh, will let it run

Facebook acquires anonymous teen compliment app tbh, will let it run
From TechCrunch - October 16, 2017

Facebook wants tbh to be its next Instagram. Today, Facebook announced its acquiring positivity-focused polling startup tbh and will allow it to operate somewhat independently with its own brand.

tbh had scored 5 million downloads and 2.5 million daily active usersin the past 9 weeks with its app thatlets people anonymously answer kind-hearted multiple-choice questions about friends who then receive the poll results as compliments. You see questions likeBest to bring to a party?, Their perseverance is admirable?, and Could see becoming a poet?, with your uploaded contacts on the app as answer choices.

tbh has racked up over 1 billion poll answers since officially launching in limited states in August, mostly from teens and high school students, and spent weeks topping the free app charts. When we profiled tbh last month in the companys first big interview, co-creator Nikita Bier told us If were improving the mental health of millions of teens, thats a success to us.

Financial terms of the deal werent disclosed but TechCrunch has heard the price paid was under $100 million and wont require any regulatory approval. tbhs four co-creators Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza, and Nicolas Ducdodonwill join Facebooks Menlo Park headquarters while continuing to grow their app with Facebooks cash, engineering, anti-spam, moderation, and localization resources.

However, the tbh founders will become formal Facebook employees with Facebook email addresses opposed to running more independently like Instagram and WhatsApp that have their own buildings and emails.

The tbh team wrote in an announcement post that When we met with Facebook, we realized that we shared many of the same core values about connecting people through positive interactions. Most of all, we were compelled by the ways they could help us realize our vision and bring it to more people.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook wrote tbh and Facebook share a common goalof building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together. Were impressed by the way tbh is doing this by using polling and messaging, and with Facebooks resources tbh can continue to expand and build positive experiences.

Its interesting that Facebook opted to acquire tbh rather than clone it, since its been aggressively copying other hit teen apps like Houseparty recently. While Facebooks Snapchat clone Instagram Stories has achieved massive popularity, other knock-offs its made havent faired as well. With tbhs strong brand name, distinctive design, and explosive early traction, Facebook seems to have decided it was better to team-up than face-off.

[Correction: tbh has 2.5 million daily active users, not 4 million as we originally published after Bier implied as much in a tweet he deleted after this article was published.]

From 14 Failures To Facebook

Bier originally started tbh parent company Midnight Labs back in 2010. The app studio tried a slew of products including a personal finance app, a college chat app, and a personality test. Eventually the company took a small seed round in 2013 from investors including Greylock via partner Josh Elman, Bee Partners, and Indicator Ventures. But nothing took off and Midnight Labs was running out of money.


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