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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