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The Hottest App for Teens Is All About Positivity, and It Isn’t TikTok

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In the app, you literally gas people up. That’s why it’s called “Gas.”

The social networking app, which was released in August 2022, allows you to compliment your friends in a series of polls, and it is the No. 1 social networking app (as of press time) on Apple’s App Store — ahead of the timed photo app BeReal.

Developer on the app Nikita Bier told the Wall Street Journal he was thrilled that teens seem to be responding to the app’s message of positivity.

Bier also previously created a similar app that was called “tbh.” Facebook bought “tbh” in 2017 then shuttered it the following year.

On the Gas app interface, you answer a series of questions about your friends with the intent to compliment them. “To us, being at No. 1 is a vote of confidence that we’re doing something right for teens,” Bier, who serves as president of the company that created the app, Find Your Crush, told the outlet.

The app is intended for people in your school, friends they add, or “friends-of-friends.” You can also just use someone’s username to add them as a friend. (However, it does have an option for users to select that they have finished high school and still use Gas.)

@gasappteam Ok but who sent these?? #gasapp #gas ♬ original sound – Notfromco

After downloading the app and creating a profile, you receive a series of prompts, like “Most likely to be famous,” and you can choose out of four people.

People receive “flames” to find out what people said about them. You can also only see someone in polls if you’re both friends or they are in your contacts already, per the WSJ.

“By default, Gas only shows the grade and gender of the person who voted for you, so everyone feels comfortable sharing compliments with each other,” the company says. However, you can cough up money to subscribe to “God Mode” to shield your profile from others who have paid to see them — or pay to see who gave you the compliment.

The flames also vary by the gender of the person who sent them — blue for boys, pink for girls, and purple for non-binary people.

entrepreneur downloaded the app. When you choose that you have finished high school, it allows you to create a profile, then still offers you the chance to answer polls from among contacts on your phone (if you grant it access). Presumably, those people also downloaded the app, but the company did not respond immediately to a request for clarification.

@gasappteam This app slaps #gasapp #gas #crushapp #crush ♬ use this sound if u sniff poo – mitch

(It’s a bit like the early days of Clubhouse when the app was letting people know long-forgotten friends or exes whose names were still in people’s contacts had joined the app.)

Currently, the app is only available in “some regions” and the company is working on boosting its server capacity, it said.

The founder said he hopes the app will continue to help teenagers avoid rampant cyberbullying and comparison online. For example, the app will automatically show you in polls more often if you haven’t been picked recently.

“So many people say it improves their self-esteem, they got closer with friends, and that they feel loved,” Bier told the WSJ.

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