An anonymous app called Gas is taking high schools by storm

The anonymous app for teens just took over the top spot in the App Store.

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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