"TBH" screenshots.
A snapshot of teen app "TBH" poll question. Photo credit: Jason Lumpris

The social media giant Facebook recently acquired an app geared towards teenagers called To Be Honest.

The app is designed for users in 9th-grade and up. The goal is to enable teens to provide honest positive feedback to either schoolmates or persons whose phone numbers are stored on their mobile phones by downloading the app, creating an account and answering questions pertaining to those persons anonymously.

“We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram,” eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco said. “Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they (teens and tweens) communicate through using visual content.”

Facebook hopes it can attract teens and tweens through this app by appealing to the same audience.

Orozoco said, “Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged as they are logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform.”

TBH officials said in a news release posted to its website that, “Today we’re announcing that we’re joining Facebook to continue our mission.”

The news release statement continued, “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 TBH’s vision and bring it to more people.”

The acronym TBH was derived from “To be honest,” which is popularly used among teens on social media platforms. Currently, the app named after the trendy phrase is only available nationwide in the US and isn’t available for Android users yet.

Up-to-date TBH is exclusively compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices running on IOS 9.0 or later operating systems.

Although people under the age of 13 are not allowed to create an account on the app, as it’s intended for those 13 years and older attending either high school or college, a TBH account can still be made by high school and college graduates.

As of Oct. 16, the app has drawn over 5 million people to download it onto their Apple devices and send over a billion messages, according to the news release

Upon learning about the app and its intended audience, a WSU freshman, Dana Griffin, said, “I don’t like Facebook setting the conversation for my kids because what they may consider appropriate, I may not.”

Now, in an era where the safety of teenagers using social media platforms remains an ongoing concern, Griffin felt that people who are not teenagers primarily college attendees of any age and high school or college graduates gaining access to TBH could prove problematic.

“You would want to be on there as a parent,” Griffin said. “But, if I’m a 45-year-old pedophile and all I have to do is select either I’m a college student or graduated from high school or college, where’s the safety in that?”

Griffin, who is a mother of five, said, “There is no verification that just because someone clicked either they are in college, they’ve graduated from high school or college, that they are a safe person.”

For those that aren’t yet acquainted with the app, here’s how TBH works. After the app is downloaded from the App Store, users create an account by filling in his or her credentials.

After clicking play to start, users will be given a random poll question, and on the lower portion of the screen, names of people from their contacts will be visible to choose as the best person that suits the criteria of the question.

Snapshot of random poll question aquired from"TBH"
Snapshot of random poll question acquired from"TBH." Photo credit: Jason Lumpris

In order for this game to be effective, the names users selected as responses to the polls must be TBH users also.

Each full game, users are given 15 poll questions in to answer. When each game is over, users usually have to wait between 54 to 56 minutes for new poll questions to be generated.

People wanting to create their own poll question also have the free will to do so, keeping in mind the questions should be conducive to users of the TBH community age 13 and older, elevating to the audience and not offensive to any group.

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