Facebook has acquired tbh, the anonymous feedback app that only launched in August 2017. Even though tbh is still only in its infancy, it’s become quite popular with teenagers (you only need to be at least 13-years-old to sign up) in middle and high school.
It started as being available only in select states, but it is now available nationwide in the U.S. Like any other social networking app, tbh may be popular right now, but who knows how long the trend will last. After all, teenagers seem to prefer Snapchat over all other social networks.
Still, it’s the latest craze, so we just had to dig in and give it a try for ourselves, even though it’s geared for teens. So, is it worth caring about?
Signing Up for tbh
If you’re interested in trying out tbh for yourself, it’s an easy signup process.
First, you’ll need the app. It’s currently only available on Apple’s App Store [No longer available], and it’s free. When you launch it for the first time, it’ll ask you for your school and grade level. While it’s geared for teens, you can still use tbh if you’re in college or have already graduated.
The next step is picking your gender, which is the only information about you that’s shared with other users. There are the typical Boy and Girl options, along with Non-binary if you don’t identify as either.
The only bit of private info that tbh requires when signing up is your phone number. This serves as your account credentials.
The key to using tbh is having friends who are also on the service. Until you have four friends on tbh, the app uses your device’s contacts as placeholders so you can still participate in polls. Your contacts are actually hidden in poll responses when you send compliments.
What Is tbh?
In case you aren’t familiar with the internet lingo, “tbh” is the acronym for “to be honest” (more internet slang words you should know) The point of the tbh app is to help you compliment other people and spread positivity. It’s better than all of the negative comments and bullying that may be present in other social apps.
All of this positive karma is measured using polls. You answer multiple choice questions with your contacts as the answers. If that contact is on tbh, they’ll receive your answer as a compliment in their app. The questions and answers in tbh are all created by the developers, so users cannot make their own questions. This eliminates the opportunity to bully others.
If you don’t think the four contacts picked for the question fit, you can tap on Shuffle to get a new batch of friends to pick. Or you can Skip a question entirely. Everything’s done anonymously, so you won’t have to worry about revealing yourself, that is, unless you want to.
How do you reveal yourself? If a friend sends you a compliment, you can choose to reply to it, or even take a screenshot on your device. Doing either of these actions will “reveal” yourself to them, taking away the anonymous mask.
Whenever you get picked, you get Gems. Think of the gems as karma points. They are an indicator of how often people pick you for answers in polls. Pink gems appear when a girl picks you, and blue for being a boy’s pick. These don’t seem to have a use right now, but tbh says they’ll unlock more questions and future features in updates.
So, What’s All the Fuss About?
Yes, tbh is just another social networking app that’s pretty much a game, but it’s unique. There’s a lot of negativity and bullying online when it comes to social media platforms, so tbh stands out from the rest. This is done by focusing on positive vibes and being nice to each other.
I’ve long graduated from high school (class of 2005), so I don’t think I quite fit the demographic that tbh is originally geared towards. However, I understand that the middle and high school years can be tough for teens, so I like the fact that tbh promotes kindness and accolades amongst each other.
Personally, I’m constantly on both Twitter (some tips even pros may not know about) and Facebook (our complete guide to privacy), which are my social networks of choice. However, it seems that these days, there’s a lot of depressing or bad news on either of these networks, and it becomes overwhelming. And as much as I try, I can’t seem to pull myself away from them entirely.
At first, I thought tbh was a bit childish, but that may be because it’s designed for teens. But honestly, it’s a nice break from the deluge of dismal news I see daily on Twitter and Facebook.
When I launch tbh, I can see any new compliments left for me (even though I only have my boyfriend on there), which always brings a smile to my face. I also find the polls to be a fun game that not only serves as a way to pass time but makes me think about the personalities and traits of people I already know.
Not Too Serious
It’s like those yearbook awards from my high school days, like “Most Likely to Succeed” and “The Class Clown.” The questions in tbh are all lighthearted and fun, never insulting. While some may seem a bit off-putting (such as “Who would look good in Crocs?”), there’s always the opportunity to skip it if you prefer to not answer or think someone may take it the wrong way.
At the moment, I’m enjoying tbh because it’s just a fun way for me the pass some time and also get away from negativity elsewhere online. But I’m not sure if it’s going to be a longterm thing for me.
However, if you are a teenager or a parent of one, then this app may be useful in promoting praise and encouragement among peers through anonymity. Just be warned, like other trendy social network services, this could all just be a temporary fad.
The internet is full of upsetting stuff lately, and everyone could use some self-care. With tbh, it focuses on the good, and it’s a great way to take your mind off of things for a bit.
Have you used tbh? What are your thoughts on the service? Do you think promoting positivity through anonymity works out at all? The comments are open below!