If you’re keeping score of the hottest social media apps to sweep Gen Z (many of which ultimately go multigenerational mainstream) then here’s an update. BeReal is such a big deal it got its own SNL sketch. Twitter, never heard of her. And TikTok and Instagram, still more than hanging in there.
But here comes a new contender to the ring—this one is for high schoolers and more in line with the vibe of BeReal than anything else—Gas.
Named so for the act of “gassing someone up,” the anonymous social media platform is intended to allow users to compliment their classmates by voting for their friends in a round of polls that refreshes every hour.
Now, if you’re thinking “there’s no way cyberbullying doesn’t interfere with this,” you might be onto something—apps that are anonymous have a history of doing so. But Gas is all about positivity and positions itself as the place where friends share what they love about one another, “and no, they won’t dunk on you like other anonymous apps,” the app’s description says.
“The Hottest App Right Now? One Where Teens Have to Say Nice Things About Each Other” is the title of a recent Wall Street Journal article, and it highlights an important need among this younger generation: Whether Gas ends up a fiery force or peters out, it’s currently ranking No. 1 in social networking and has a 4.5-star rating among 121,000 users, so it illustrates the craving for positivity in social media.
It should be noted that this app is from the creators of tbh, which skyrocketed in popularity five years ago. Using the same concept, tbh was scooped up by Meta (then Facebook) three months after it launched and shut down shortly after. While the creators of the original app have said they won’t be taking outside investments with Gas, Meta owns the code for tbh—meaning if the new app’s massive popularity continues, expect the concept to pop up on Instagram, if history is any indication.
As jewelry retailers are almost certainly not in high school, this app won’t serve them any purpose. But it does point to a broader lesson to be implemented across all social media apps: Kindness is cool. If you’re going to be anything, be real. The concept of humanizing a company isn’t new and has long been appealing, but this new age calls for brands to go beyond traditional methods to connect with their up-and-coming customer bases.
Photo via App Store
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