A few months ago, Sarahah was the most popular app among kids and teens. It was created with good intentions – originally, the app was supposed to help with giving honest feedback to employees. But once kids got a hold on Sarahah, they began to use it to cyberbully each other. Its anonymity made it easy for users to post hurtful comments and even investigate how to catch a cheater. Now, there’s another anonymous messaging app named TBH, short for “to be honest,” which also encourages honesty from its users. Unlike Sarahah, though, TBH is a step in the right direction. Here’s why.
Even though it’s anonymous, TBH makes it near impossible to post anything but positive comments. That’s because instead of letting its users write freely, they can vote for their peers in polls. These polls usually ask positive questions such as, “Who has the best smile?” And, for extra incentive, the poll winners gain points. TBH’s interface makes it easy to catch a cheater and stop cyberbullies in their tracks. Plus, it’s a fun, anonymous way to hold light-hearted competitions among teens.
Partnership With Facebook
TBH quickly rose to the top, with over 5 million users, and even ranked as the #1 free app on iTunes. Facebook took note and acquired it just last month. Along with its previous purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp, it’s clear that Facebook wants to target a younger crowd. Fortunately, they seem to know what they’re doing. TBH has created a greater sense of community for kids and teens on the Internet. Because it allows them to easily connect with their peers, they may be more inclined to treat each other with respect and kindness. That means teachers might be able to stop worrying about how to catch a cheater, breaking up fights, or sending bullies to detention. Hopefully we can look forward to seeing this community reflected on Facebook, too.
My personal favorite thing about TBH is that it’s structured like a game. Unlike past anonymous apps, TBH is much more fun to use. Kids don’t need to seek out their friends’ profiles and think about what to write to them. Instead, they can just flip through the different polls, vote for their friends, and accumulate points. It’s a good, positive way for them to kill time. And it motivates kids to show their friends how much they care. Of course, like everything else, TBH should be used in moderation.