Is the Gas App Safe to Use in 2024? An In-depth Review

Abeerah Hashim  - Security Expert
Last updated: May 16, 2024
Read time: 11 minutes
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Get an in-depth look at the app that is all the rave among Gen Z and is built around genuine compliments and a good time.

THE TAKEAWAYS

With the overwhelming negativity in the online space and so many young teens getting in on the social media rave, it is a breath of fresh air that platforms like Gas exist to create a balance. Launched in 2017, Gas was designed to help teens feel better about themselves in a world where everything tells them otherwise. It allows users to complement one another, ensuring every user gets at least one per day to boost morale. The app gained a large following, of course, as its core target audience of high schoolers continues to grow and benefit from its excellent niche service.

If you are a millennial or GenX reading this, you may or may have yet to hear the word “Gas” used differently than what you are used to. However, GenZ has set a trend that is not going anywhere soon.

To “gas” someone is used to make someone feel good about themselves. So, a way to say “flatter.” Unsurprisingly, there exists a Gas app designed to boost self-esteem, but is that all there is to it? Continue reading to find out.

What is the Gas app?

The Gas app is a social media phenomenon that has, in no short time, become very popular with high schoolers. As of the start of this year, Gas was ranked among the top free social media platforms on the Apple App Store. The founder of the “TBH” app, Nikita Bier, is credited among the founders of the Gas app. TBH (now-defunct) was a social platform similar to the Gas app.

The Gas app lets users select their school and grade from its selection. This selection is a list pre-populated based on the user location, with which it will then curate a contact list for them. The users are then given polls that involve choosing who has the best photos, who is most empathetic, who passes the vibe check, who is always flirting, and who they would like to hold hands with during a horror movie from four selected contacts.

How old do Gas users have to be?

The creators of the Gas app designed it specifically for high school students. The location data the app collects only serves as a way for the users to select from high schools nearby. The users are also expected to create an anonymous profile on the app before answering multiple-choice questions.

However, the app clearly states that it only grants access to users over the age of 13.

Does Gas offer parental controls?

Gass-app-Interface

Since the app is straightforward to use with minimal functionalities, it has no parental controls. Nor does it need any.

For instance, the app has no direct message or chat feature. Hence, it has significantly reduced the chances of predatory elements hijacking it for nefarious purposes. Furthermore, according to the parent safety app, Bark, Gas is a standout example of an app with the slightest chance of predation.

Founder Bier also adds that there is no user data tracking, intrusive ads, or ads on the app. However, if you wish to keep an eye on your ward’s app use regardless, you can use a third-party parent control app.

The app’s central theme is to “gas your friends up.” And with the app handling the questions users will have to answer, the app can be truly loads of fun. Gas has become a genuine way to connect with your peers and get a healthy dose of confidence boost through compliments.

The app’s creators have stated that Gas was created to be a safe place for teens to share the things they love about each other. And with how it’s turned out, we can say they knocked it out of the park.

Is the Gas app safe?

Safe Illustration

The answer is yes. But parents have expressed concerns over the app’s safety, as with all social media apps, especially those predominantly used by teens. 

The app’s scope is grounds for worry since its target audience is young teens and high schoolers. And we know just how targeted that demographic is by predators. Parents and guardians want to be sure their wards are always safe, especially from strangers online. 

In response, Gas operates such that only residents (neighbors), friends, and contacts can vote on each other — strangers cannot. On top of that, since the app does not have a direct message or chat feature, if a stranger was to send a request somehow, they would be unable to communicate with the kids.

Gas app and human trafficking

The Gas app has had some worrying trends around it. For example, predators use social media apps to trick unsuspecting kids. But more worrying is that there is a rising trend of human trafficking and that parents are concerned that Gas might expose their kids to potential harm.

But as stated earlier, Gas is completely safe from the loopholes plaguing regular social media apps such as Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. Since there is no chat, comment, or direct message feature, and the app generates and dictates the questions, there is no way to communicate with the users.

It is understandable, however, for parents to express these fears, as human trafficking is a real and ever-present menace to contend with. But with Gas, parents don’t have to fear human trafficking; the users are always protected.

In how many states is the Gas app available?

As of the time of writing, the Gas app is only available for download in 12 states in the United States. These states include Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. However, there are ongoing efforts to increase the number of states. 

The app developers believe that in the coming months, there will be considerable server expansion. The main reason for the delay in the spread of servers is the server restrictions in the US. Furthermore, with the increasing revenue from the increase in users, the Gas app will likely focus more on spreading across the US.

How does the Gas app work on Android OS?

The Gas app launched on the Apple Play Store platform in August 2022. It was also released on the Google Play Store at the same time.

However, you should note that at the time of writing, the Android/Google Play Store app version is available as a test version only, unavailable to the public. It currently has some bugs. But the developers are hard at fixing them and adding more features to the Android app before its full release.

Can I install the Gas app on Apple?

The Gas app is available for download on the Apple app store. The app’s iOS version was the most downloaded social media app of 2022, and the download numbers are continually rising.

The Gas app’s predecessor TBH was created by Isaiah Turner, Nikita Bier, and Dave Schatz in September 2017. Facebook would later acquire the app for an estimated $100m. However, it discontinued TBH in July 2018 because of reduced usage. 

Does the Gas app have privacy risks?

Risks Illustration

Just as with any other new social media app, you must always consider whether the app can firstly operate safely. You can often ascertain this from user reviews, reviews, and the creator’s privacy policy.

The privacy policy of the Gas app states the following:

  • They cannot sell or share your data.
  • They will not track you across other online platforms.
  • Your location data is only for suggesting nearby schools.
  • They will not store your location data or any data.
  • They will not link your location data to your account.

As a result of this privacy policy, the Gas app is pretty safe from most privacy risks. As clearly stated in the privacy policy, your privacy is paramount to the creators and developers in charge.

The target audience of the Gas app

When Facebook was introduced in 2004, it was first popular among university students. According to that, the Gas App can recognize and is designed to target university and young school students.

America’s data analysts say that it can be found by analyzing trending data that this is becoming the most popular among the American school and university community. According to this point of view, the Gas app is created to target the Youth community worldwide.

Nikita Bier, co-creator of the Gas app, informed the Wall Street Journal that Gas doesn’t save data on its servers. According to the Gas app Privacy policy, although anybody can register, the app is most suited for teenage and young users. That’s because people who sign up can choose the members of their friends list from their high school friends.

Gas maintains that geographic information is only used during the sign-up process to assist users in selecting their high school.

What are the dangers of the Gas app?

Dangerous Icon

Unlike other social media applications, Gas does not have the same loopholes that plague other social apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. For example, there is no chat feature, comment nor send direct messages to users on the app.

Thanks to this difference, strangers can’t communicate with kids. The users can only say nice things about each other as the app has tailored responses. So bullying is also almost nonexistent as users can’t input negative thoughts.

This does not mean, however, that bullying cannot occur, albeit covert or subtle. Some students may not get enough compliments, and it can be an intentional action on the part of the users. However, the app will recycle such accounts to ensure they get their fair share of compliments, which is great.

There is still the case of the dangers of human trafficking and its links to app use. But this has since been debunked by the creators and law enforcement. It is practically impossible to use the app to enact considerable wrongdoing.

Is the Gas app anonymous?

Browse Internet Anonymously

To some extent, the Gas app is free. There are two tiers of users: the ones on the free version (which makes up a more considerable amount) and those on the premium package. The free version does not allow users to see who voted for them, while the users on the premium package of $6.99 can.

Is the Gas app free?

While the app isn’t entirely free, it offers users the chance to use it to some extent for no charge. One of the founders has even commented on this, saying that the free users make up 95% of their users. And since the target audience is high schoolers, it makes sense for more not to opt to pay.

There is speculation about the intentions of the creators of this app since the premium version will allow users to see who’s voted for them — can it mean the creators are seeking to exploit the kid’s insecurities and anxieties?

To be fair, this does raise real concerns; we know the weight of validation in those formative years, and if an app promises to reveal just what your peers thought about you, therein lies a highway to exploitation. Thankfully, only 10% opt for the premium and not consistently, so we do not have to worry if the Gas app is entirely safe for teens.

Conclusion

The gas app is an excellent way for teens to spread positivity in a world riddled with negativity, online bullying, and a flurry of other evils plaguing the budding population of children and teens.

Its creators had a goal in mind, and in connecting high schoolers, giving them a chance to gas each other up, they created a genuinely healthy ecosystem. The Gas app is also safe from predatory elements, and the privacy of its teen users is always guaranteed.

FAQs

“God Mode” on the Gas app is a premium feature you get when paying for the entire subscription. At only $6.99/mo, the app will reveal the full name of the people who voted for you more than once. It will not disclose all the names but will consistently drop hints for users to figure it out themselves.

The Gas app was created and founded by a team of Isaiah Turner, Nikita Bier, and Dave Schatz in September 2017. But the CEO is Nikita Bier.

It was a stroke of marketing genius, the app was released, and everyone got notifications from dummy accounts with the same message: “See who likes you.” And from there, the buzz gathered speed, and soon after, the users joined at a blistering pace of 30,000 per hour.

The Gas app is generally free to use since its functions do not require any payments or special subscriptions. But if you want to see the identity of the people who rated you, you can pay for the monthly subscription, which costs $6.99.

By October 2022, the user count had shot up to 1 million active daily users. The app is a predominantly iOS app and, within months of its release, has become more popular than TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram.

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About the Author

Abeerah Hashim

Abeerah Hashim

Security Expert
166 Posts

Abeerah is a passionate technology blogger and cybersecurity enthusiast. She yearns to know everything about the latest technology developments. Specifically, she’s crazy about the three C’s; computing, cybersecurity, and communication. When she is not writing, she’s reading about the tech world.

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