It’s no news that Facebook has long been the preferred choice for older users. Considering Facebook’s impressive user growth rate, that may not seem like a problem. But for a company that’s constantly looking at the future, it means low usage among younger users. The latest attempt to address that is the acquisition of tbh, a favorite polling app that’s been downloaded at least 5 million downloads and boasts 2.5 million daily active users in the past two months alone. And that’s just with its iOS app. It hasn’t even come to Android yet.
tbh was created by Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza and Nicolas Ducdodon, and was intended to allow kids age 13 and above run private or public polls within their schools. Participants are then “rewarded” with the results of the poll once it’s over.
The growth of the app’s popularity has been stunning, to say the least. To date, it has seen over a billion poll answers since its launch in October. It stayed at the top of the free apps charts for several weeks, even though the app only launched in August this year. And it’s only being used in a few US states at the moment. That and the fact that it is yet to enter the Android space puts its growth potential at a very high level.
TechCrunch reported that Facebook paid under $100 million to acquire the company and the team behind the app, and the latter will be moving to Facebook’s Menlo Park HQ to work from there. The company will continue operating under the same name, but unlike Instagram and WhatsApp, it will be more closely integrated with Facebook from a corporate perspective.
In a statement made to TechCrunch, Facebook said:
“tbh and Facebook share a common goal — of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together. We’re impressed by the way tbh is doing this by using polling and messaging, and with Facebook’s resources tbh can continue to expand and build positive experiences.”
It’s interesting to note that Facebook decided not to clone the app on its own platform, but rather acquire the company. That’s very different from what it did with Snapchat’s stories feature, converting it into the now-popular Instagram Stories. But to be fair, Facebook did make an early bid for $3 billion to acquire Snapchat back in 2013, when it was a much smaller private entity rather than the publicly traded company that Snap Inc. is today.
At the time of Facebook’s bid for Snapchat, it was speculated to be valued at around $6 billion. Today it’s market capitalization is nearly $20 billion. A $3 billion acquisition would have been a major achievement for Facebook considering Snap’s position right now. Granted, the company hasn’t been doing too well on the stock market since its IPO earlier this year, but it still has a strong and growing (albeit slowly) user base.
Facebook might regret not snapping up Snapchat when it was much smaller, but it’s not going to make the same mistake with any new app or company that even remotely aligns with its objectives, and has a tool that works.
Get the free tbh app from Apple’s App Store here, via iTunes.