Facebook Buys Teen App TBH

Facebook Inc. acquired popular teen mobile app TBH, a teen-focused messaging app that lets users create anonymous polls and answers questions about their friends.

The four founders of the app — Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza and Nicolas Ducdodon — will join Facebook as the world’s largest social network looks to attract more users.

TBH, which is an acronym for “To be honest,” bills itself as “the only anonymous app with positive vibes.” Designed for people 13 and older, the app lets students create anonymous polls for themselves and their friends.

The app will operate separately from Facebook, similar to how the social network handled its acquisition of photo-sharing app Instagram, Facebook said. TBH was launched on Aug. 3 and already has more than 5 million users who have sent more than a billion messages and for now is only available for iPhones, and only in some U.S. states.

“TBH and Facebook share a common goal of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together,” Facebook spokeswoman Vanessa Chan said in a statement on Monday. “We’re impressed by the way TBH is doing this.”

She added: “With Facebook’s resources TBH can continue to expand and build positive experiences.”

Facebook didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal, nor when, exactly, it acquired TBH.

By purchasing TBH, Facebook has added yet another app to the arsenal, it’s deploying against Snapchat, which recent studies have shown to be the most popular social network among teens.

Facebook has been seeking new ways to reach erratic teenage users, who want to communicate in different ways and who may view the flagship Facebook app as more of a stodgy utility than a place to have fun. The social-networking company has tested and shut down several game-like apps targeted to young people, after being snubbed in a bid to purchase Snapchat years ago.

Despite being active in only a handful of US states, the app has been downloaded by more than 5 million people in recent weeks, and users have sent more than a billion messages.

TBH’s four co-founders will move out of the startup’s office in Oakland, California, to work in Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters, Chan said on Monday.

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