Thousands of German teens are downloading SLAY, a new compliments app

Thousands of German teens are downloading SLAY, a new compliments app

SLAY has only recently been released, but kids in Germany have already sent it soaring to the top of the iOS app store charts. What’s all the fuss about?

German teens smitten with compliments app

“Cyberbullying and hate is whack. Love is much cooler.” That’s the motto of Germany’s “positivity-only” app, SLAY; the newest social media site to claim the wearied eyeballs of 250.000 plus teenagers across the federal republic. Thanks to SLAY, teenagers can now while away their youth by sending each other compliments about “who has the best sneaker game.”

After logging on via the app’s neon-light emoji-littered frontend, the 2023 equivalent of writing “welcome teenagers” in a graffiti font on the local youth club door, users are told to add which school they go to. Now connected with their peers, the app proffers 12 questions which can only be answered with the name of one of their schoolmates. In doing so, they will pay an (anonymous) compliment, or so-called “slay”, to their contemporaries. Once they have gotten through the questionnaire, users can see what anonymous compliments they have received.

SLAY offers teens the opportunity to “get hundreds of compliments”, straight to their phones. And while “who has the best sneaker game” may have a hint of ChatGPT staleness, the app's founders promise that they will “never send automatically generated compliments to our users”. 

Yet another export of the Berlin start-up scene, in its first round of funds sourcing the app has managed to gather an impressive 2,5 million euros. Investments were led by American venture capital firm Accel, also known for having invested in Meta, Dropbox and Spotify. Just months after launching, SLAY has managed to expand to Austria, Switzerland and the UK.

Teens in Germany spend almost 70 hours online each week

SLAY is the 2022 brainchild of 23-year-old Fabian Kamberi, Jannis Ringwald and Stefan Quernhorst. The app was born out of Kamberi’s desire to counteract his younger siblings' poor mental health as a result of scrolling hours away while coronavirus erased almost all real-life interaction teens had with their friends.

Over the past four years, the amount of time that young children and teenagers spend on the internet has steadily increased. In 2019, 16 to 18-year-olds in Germany were spending an average of 58 hours a week online, in 2021 this had increased to 70,4 hours a week. As 2022 brought the return of semi-normal life, the average decreased to 67,8 hours a week. 

With heavy social media usage being linked to depression and anxiety, many health insurance providers in Germany are now offering information about how to maintain a healthy relationship with addictive social media platforms.

Of course, teenagers are not alone. With more and more apps vying for our attention and becoming a necessary evil to progress through everyday life, adults in Germany are also spending an average of 63 hours looking at the screen each week.

Thumb image credit: Stock Rocket /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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