Facebook acquiring tbh, a social network popular with teens

Mark Zuckerberg’s social network once again makes a play to appeal to young users.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read

Facebook is adding to its collection of apps. This time, a social network called tbh, popular with teens.

Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images

Facebook is trying again to be cool with teens.

The tech giant said Monday it's buying tbh, a social network popular with teens that lets people send compliments to each other through anonymous quizzes. Facebook didn't disclose an acquisition price.

Facebook will let tbh, which stands for "to be honest," operate as it did before, similar to how it runs the photo app Instagram and chat app Whatsapp.

"When we met with Facebook, we realized that we shared many of the same core values about connecting people through positive interactions," tbh said in a blog post. "Most of all, we were compelled by the ways they could help us realize tbh's vision and bring it to more people."

Facebook confirmed the acquisition. "Tbh and Facebook share a common goal -- of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together," a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement. "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."

Tbh became a darling among young people this summer. The company says it has 5 million users, who have shared more than a billion messages on the app.

By letting tbh continue to operate as a standalone app, Facebook seems to be following the same playbook it did with Instagram, which it bought in 2012 for $1 billion. Now, Instagram is one of the world's most well-known social apps, and has 800 million monthly users.

Facebook has been looking to appeal more to young people as rival Snap, parent of Snapchat, continues to grow. Last week, Snap announced a feature called Context Cards, a visual search tool for Snapchat. In 2013, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg famously offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion, but was spurned by CEO Evan Spiegel. Snap went public earlier this year.

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