An anonymous app called Gas is taking high schools by storm

New social media apps tend to have limited shelf lives.

Even BeReal, which has grown users ~2300% this year, is showing signs of trouble, with only 9% of Android users opening the app daily.

Now there’s Gas, an anonymous app that prompts teens to say nice things about each other. Last week, it became the No. 1 free social app in the App Store, per The Wall Street Journal.

If Gas sounds familiar…

… that’s because its founder, Nikita Bier, also founded TBH, a similar app that Facebook acquired in 2017 and shut down in 2018.

Here’s how Gas works:

  • The app uses location data to let users choose their high school
  • Users are served multiple choice questions about fellow students with superlative-style answers (e.g., “the most beautiful person you have ever met”)
  • Users are anonymous by default, but an upgraded version lets them see who said what about them

The app has racked up 500k+ downloads since August, despite only launching in 12 states so far.

But is Gas safe for teens?

Gas, like BeReal and Locket, aims to create a more positive social media experience.

  • Bier said users have credited the app with improving their self-esteem, and making them feel more loved.

While that might sound great, especially in light of mounting evidence that Instagram did the exact opposite for teenage girls, Gas still perpetuates a dopamine cycle that trains teens to check their phones for validation.

If you’re a curious parent, check out this review from Bark, a parental control app.

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