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Facebook Is Killing Off an Anonymous Social App That Turned Out to Be a Failure

July 3, 2018, 11:29 AM UTC

Last year, Facebook bought an anonymous social app called tbh, which was apparently popular with teenagers—a crucial demographic for Facebook, which is seeing engagement drop among its younger users.

At the time, tbh—a platform for providing positive feedback to friends—was enjoying a terrific rise in popularity, but that doesn’t seem to have lasted. On Monday, Facebook announced that it was killing off tbh, along with two other apps that it bought or launched in recent years. The reason for closing all three apps was “low usage.”

“We know some people are still using these apps and will be disappointed—and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support. But we need to prioritize our work so we don’t spread ourselves too thin. And it’s only by trial and error that we’ll create great social experiences for people,” the social networking and advertising giant said in its announcement.

The other two apps were Hello, a service that was developed in-house in 2015 to help Android users combine information from Facebook with their phone contacts data, and a fitness app called Moves that Facebook (FB) bought in 2014.

The company said it would be deleting the user data from all the apps over the next three months.

Recent research has shown that teenagers are using Facebook less these days, in the U.S. at least. Back in 2014-2015, the Pew Research Center found 71% of American teens were using the service, but now that figure is down to 51%.

The researchers reckon that teens these days typically use more than one platform. The good news for Facebook is that, while its core app has lost its lustre among the young, its Instagram image-sharing service is riding high, being used by 72% of American teens.