News in apps delivered weekly to your inbox on 🌮 Tuesday.




In this week’s What’s Appening, we cover the roaring success of Gas, a social networking app that focuses on non-toxic interactions. A smash hit with high schoolers, Gas has shot to the top of the App Store download charts. Alongside BeReal, are we looking at a new generation of social networking apps that promote kindness and authenticity? Elsewhere, we cover some explosive revelations about TikTok. There’s also news of a billionaire buying a social media platform, and, no, it’s not Elon Musk. Our Stat of the Week looks at the incredible rise of Reddit NFTs. And What’s dAppening marvels at Plaid’s brilliant crypto wallet onboarding solution.  

What’s Appening is brought to you by 3Advance, the product development team that eats, sleeps and breathes apps. Not diggin’ the apps? You can opt-out below. Forwarding to a friend? Please do 🙏. They can subscribe here or y’all can watch our video episodes on YouTube📺.

Takes 🎬

💌🚀 Gas – ‘Complimentary’ Social App Rockets to the Top of App Store

We admit it: We were today years old when we learned that “Gas” was short for “gassing”, which is Gen Z slang for “giving someone a compliment”. Gassing is front and center of Gas, an iPhone app that has taken teens by storm and supplanted BeReal and TikTok at the top of the App Store. Gas is non-toxic by design. It syncs up with your contacts and location, and then users will vote (anonymously) for their friends in a round of polls. Users can only respond with Gas’s pre-written answers, so there’s no instant messaging and no real opportunity for bullying. It’s designed to be fun and flirtatious but also empowering for its users. Right now, the app is only available in 12 states, but it’s growing at a steady clip – 1 million daily active users and a reported 30,000 new downloads per hour. Gas was created by Nikita Bier, the creator of the very, very similar “TBH” app, which launched five years ago and was similarly popular with high schoolers. However, Facebook bought it and then promptly shoved it into a garbage disposal chute somewhere. Gas has flaws and parents should always be wary, but for now, let’s celebrate this craze of kindness. #MoreGassing Read more here.

🕵️‍♀️📱 TikTok – Parent Company Accused of Planning to Use App to Track Americans

The row over the intentions of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has rumbled on for a few years now, with various accusations relating to American national security being thrown at the Chinese company. But last week, Forbes produced an explosive report accusing ByteDance of planning to use TikTok as a trojan horse to track the locations of specific US citizens. Now, many apps, including Uber and Facebook, have been slapped down before for tracking users’ locations, but that’s normally for ad targeting. Forbes claims ByteDance’s intentions were more about surveillance. For balance, we should point out that TikTok did provide a strong rebuttal, claiming it does not collect GPS data from US users. However, Forbes’ reporter doubled down on the original story with more allegations. It all comes at a crucial time for TikTok, as it is reportedly set to sign a contract with CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), an arm of the Treasury Department that evaluates the risk of foreign-owned companies operating here. It remains to be seen whether CFIUS will act on the revelations in Forbes’ article. #IsTikTokWatching Read more here.

📢👋 Parler – Kanye West Set to Buy Conservative Social Media Network

A short story in four parts: Kanye West posted some highly offensive content on Instagram last week; Kanye West got kicked off Instagram; Kanye West then returned to Twitter for the first time in ages, posted the same content, and got booted off Twitter; Kanye West announced he would be buying the Parler social network for “free speech” reasons. FIN. Ironically, Kanye’s return to Twitter was celebrated in a tweet by Elon Musk (before the offensive post, we should add), a man who must be popular with Twitter employees after it was reported that 75% of them would be getting fired. Billionaires buying social media apps, eh? What could possibly go wrong? #TheTwitterDropOut Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week – 3M Wallets 

🤖🖼️ Reddit Users Rush to Create Crypto Wallets, Surpassing OpenSea

Crypto Twitter (we go there so you don’t have to 🙃) was buzzing this week as it came to light just how popular NFTs have become on Reddit. Since launching in July, three million Reddit Vault crypto wallets have been created as users buy and trade digital avatars, surpassing leading NFT marketplace OpenSea in just a few months. It’s an incredible achievement in a short space of time, and one of the best examples of how Web 2 users can easily onboard to web3 under the right conditions. #ReddyForWeb3 Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

A dApp is a decentralized app. Here’s the latest in web3, NFTs and blockchain apps.

🤝📩 Plaid – Fintech Giant Launches New Crypto Wallet Interface, Wallet Connect

Big news for web3-focused developers and builders, as Plaid announced its Wallet Connect, a crypto onboarding tool that is built on top of Plaid Link, the banking user interface that is used by 1 in 4 Americans today. The idea is that it works as a kind of middleman, seamlessly connecting with different crypto wallets, including big hitters like MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet. It’s been marketed to developers because it means they don’t have to build integrations for multiple crypto wallets: It’s a single integration for over 300 of them, which takes away a lot of the complication for developers looking to build a web3 customer-facing product. Plaid is starting with Ethereum wallets, but it has suggested it could expand to other networks like Solana. Wallet Connect offers but a taste of Plaid’s grand plans in the web3 space, as the company has set out other goals, including providing identity solutions for DeFi users. #PlaidConnectsToWeb3 Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

We’re excited to announce that our Trainee Product Manager, Kayne Lynn, has graduated from the Trainee Program – and is now onboard full-time as a Product Manager here at 3Advance.

Kayne had experience building and operating his own startup, and arrived at 3Advance with a healthy mix of real-world and book-learned knowledge. He has spent the last six-months training under the guidance of our CPTO, Darren Gibney, and has experienced the benefits and challenges of product development as a service, at an agency, surrounded by a team of expert implementers. With a stellar work ethic and dedication to startup success, he has already made a major impact with client and internal projects. We’re excited for what lays ahead for Kayne!

And remember, we now have another open position for Trainee Product Manager. So if you want to follow in Kayne’s footsteps, check out our current openings, and reach out today:

📺 Check out the What’s Appening video series!

Don’t forget, this week’s video episode will be released shortly on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. There’s also the mini-recap on TikTok and Instagram. As always, we appreciate y’all following along on any of these social platforms and we’d love to hear your feedback.