Discord kills Gas, the anonymous compliments app it bought nine months ago

Discord is shutting down Gas, the anonymous compliments-based social media app it acquired back in January for an undisclosed sum. The app will officially shut down on November 7, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Thursday. The news of the shut down was first reported by The Information.

“We can confirm that the Gas app will be shutting down on November 7,” a Discord spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We acquired Gas with the goal of supporting our efforts to grow across new and core audiences, and make Discord the best place to talk, hang out and have fun with friends online. The team will continue to play a vital role in our work to make it easier for users to connect with their friends on Discord.”

According to an internal memo seen by The Information, the closure doesn’t come as a surprise, as Discord CEO Jason Citron told employees that the main reason the company bought Gas was to acquire its engineering talent. Citron said in the memo that the company planned to keep Gas running until growth had slowed down.

Launched in August 2022, Gas became popular among teens because of its goal to offer a positive social media network. The app reached 1 million daily active users within two months. During the height of its popularity, in October and November 2022, Gas dethroned TikTok and other popular social apps in the Apple App Store rankings.

Since its launch, global all-time downloads for Gas reached 7 million, according to mobile analytics firm data.ai. Gas saw the highest number of downloads in November 2022, when the app was downloaded 3.1 million times. Gas’ growth began to stall in the months following. Last month, the app was downloaded only 2,900 times. Gas ranks No. 16 In terms of the top iOS social media apps by U.S. downloads since August 29, 2022. It’s worth noting that the app was only available on iOS and the United States and Canada.

The app was targeted toward high schoolers and would get users to answer polls about their classmates. The questions in the polls were designed to boost users’ confidence as opposed to damaging it. The teen who was chosen would then receive an anonymous message with their compliment. The premise was a hit likely because unlike traditional social media, Gas was designed to have a positive effect on users.

Gas was founded by Nikita Bier, who is also the founder of TBH, another anonymous social app geared toward high schoolers where people anonymously answered nice questions about others. Bier sold TBH to Facebook in 2017. Facebook ended up shutting down the app in 2018, citing low usage.

It appears that Bier may be gearing up to launch another app. Last week, Bier tweeted: “Next week there will be a new King of the App Store.” It’s unknown what the app could be, but given Bier’s past two forays, it may be another anonymous social app.

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