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Mom of three fostered rescued dogs and is helping to drive the conversation about digital parenting as VP of Consumer Marketing for Content Watch.
July 24, 2012Net Nanny for Android 2.0
Sep 29, 2017
If you don’t know about the anonymous app for teens, TBH, ask your kids – they probably do. And they aren’t alone; it’s now the #1 free app in Apple iTunes store! That’s no small feat under any circumstance but considering it was launched in August 2017, and is only available in 18 states at the present time, this is truly amazing. What is their secret sauce? A quality that seems to be missing by the world as of late: KINDNESS.
For the parents out there, tbh is short for “to be honest.” The app developers created the app “… for giving anonymous feedback to friends. Unlike other anonymous apps, all the feedback is positive. We built tbh because we believe that social networks should make us feel better about ourselves – not worse.” The tbh app did not start the “tbh” trend, meaning to say something positive to a friend. The “tbh” action of promoting kindness actually started a few years ago on Instagram. “TBH” on Instagram is now a form of virtual currency and users trade a “tbh” for a “like” on a photo.
When I review most apps, they all seemingly start with potential, but in their need to monetize, they cut corners or put revenue ahead of kid’s user experience. Excitingly, the tbh app actually got it right for teens (where other apps failed) in three important ways:
TBH presents the user with a series of polls about friends or classmates that you know and each series includes 12 polls at a time. Below is an overview of the functionality of the tbh app: Sign-Up Sign in with your first and last name. Then, select your school, gender, and grade. Next, upload your contacts from your phone and you’re instantly able to answer multiple-choice questions where four of your random friends are the answers.
Polls Fun, uplifting polls are created about your classmates and friends, which are collected from the contacts you uploaded. Polls tend to be overtly positive although there are some that are flirty, or even catty. Here’s an example of some of the polls users see:
When the poll question is revealed, four options of friends or classmates are listed for users to select from about who they think best matches the poll question. If you like the poll question, but don’t think it’s the right fit for the friends featured as options, simply hit the “shuffle” button to have a new batch of friends revealed. If you don’t like the poll question, you can also skip it and move onto the next poll by tapping the “skip” button.
Notifications The person selected as the answer in each poll receives a notification in their inbox each time they’re chosen. Although the “winner” doesn’t know who selected them, the notification does include their grade, gender, the other choices not selected, and a prized gemstone.
Gemstones Gemstones are awarded each time a user is selected in a poll. The color is based on the gender of the person who answered the poll; pink if a girl picks you, blue if a boy picks you, and purple if a non-gender person selected you. Similar to how gemstone rewards are used in other apps, this app keeps track of how many gems you collect and they can be redeemed to unlock questions and other features in the future.
Adding More FriendsIf you want to increase your friends on the app, there are four easy ways:
While the tbh app will not eradicate cyberbullying, it certainly gives parents an alternative to traditional anonymous apps that have previously given abusers a hidden cover for bullying, threats and racism. A few additional features that, as a parent of three children, I appreciate are:
Even with the flirty nature of some of the polls, as a parent, I truly appreciate any app developer that strives to add positivity in my child’s life and limits the ability of a bullying online. If you’re concerned about cyberbullying with your children, make sure to read our blog on the 10 Warning Signs of Cyberbullying.