Leaning in a more positive direction, Facebook is acquiring tbh -- a popular app that encourages young users to anonymously share more supportive messages. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The big innovation behind tbh -- short for “To Be Honest” -- is that it provides users with ready-made prompts to various questions and conversation topics. That takes text responses out of the equation, which makes it impossible for troublemakers to highjack what could otherwise be constructive exchanges.
“We wanted to create a community that made us feel happier and more confident about ourselves,” the tbh’s management team notes in a new blog post. “We felt that people craved genuine and positive interactions in their online experiences.”
At a time when top social networks are rife with trolls, bullies and menaces, there is an appetite among consumers for more positivity.
Indeed, over the last few weeks, more than 5 million people have downloaded tbh -- and sent over 1 billion messages -- according to internal data.
By joining Facebook, tbh’s leadership team believes it can reach more people with their message of emotional care: “We were compelled by the ways they could help us realize tbh’s vision and bring it to more people. While the last decade of the Internet has been focused on open communication, the next milestone will be around meeting people’s emotional needs.”
For now, the tbh app is not expected to change under Facebook’s ownership. It's not yet clear how the addition of tbh’s team will impact Facebook’s services and overall mission.
Along with Twitter and other social networks, research suggests Facebook is negatively affecting people’s moods. Compared to average app users, social app users were 3.2 times more likely to be in a negative mood during the third quarter of the year, according to recent research from mobile video ad firm AdColony.
Plus, social app users were two times more likely to be in a negative mood than consumers using a news app, AdColony found.
Letting people frame the conservation is always risky, notes Bryan Buskas, Chief Customer Officer at AdColony. “Any environment that relies heavily upon user-generated content is apt to variably affect users’ moods,” Buskas recently told Digital News Daily.