Watch out TikTok and BeReal, there is a new social media app in town.
The app, called Gas, is based on giving compliments and designed to “spread positivity,” according to the app’s founder, Nikita Bier. The app is currently number one in social networking on the Apple app store.
The app works by allowing high school students to anonymously vote for people in polls. If a user wins a poll, a flame icon is sent to their inbox.
BYU design senior Christy Graves said she had never heard of the social media app, although she recognized the name as a reference to “gassing someone up.”
According to the Urban Dictionary, to gas someone up means to inflate their ego through compliments or praise. In other words: to boost someone’s self-esteem.
Graves said she appreciates compliments about her sense of humor.
“When people are like, ‘Oh, you’re actually funny,’ I’m like, ‘Wow,’” Graves said. She said those comments mean the most because she works hard to be funny.
After hearing a description of the social media app, Graves shared her concerns that the app sounded like it was tailored to a specific set of people, “like the popular kids.”
Like Graves, freshman Cami Weight worried the app could turn into a popularity contest.
“I’m a little wary of it because my first thought is like a popularity contest, or like a ‘most likely’ kind of thing,” Weight said.
Weight said she prefers more in-depth compliments to superlative ones. She also said she would be more likely to use an app that allowed the user to write and send personal compliments to specific people.
BYU user experience design major Grace Sorensen said she had not heard of the app, but based on the description, she said it felt competition-based.
“It makes the top person feel good which would be fun for them, but maybe if someone else saw that they were on the same poll, they might feel really bad,” Sorensen said.
Sorensen said she always loves an outfit compliment, but she would not want her name to be in the polls.
Angel Vega, a first-year grad student studying clinical psychology at BYU, said compliments are uplifting and positive.
“I feel like compliments are just a natural thing,” Vega said, when asked if he would use Gas if it was available to college students.
Vega said if he used polls, complimenting people might feel more forced.
“But then again, it’s worth trying,” Vega said. He added that he is more grateful when he thinks about gratitude, and gassing might be the same.