If you’re of a certain age—read: you’re a college student—you likely already know all about Texts From Last Night, or TFLN for short. TFLN is a Webby Award-winning website, a popular Facebook group, a book, a soon-to-be TV series on the Fox network, and, now, an iPhone app.
The basics of the iPhone app are just like those of the full-featured website: Texts From Last Night is a stream of user-submitted text messages from, you guessed it, last night. Users may submit their own text message to the stream, and the texts are up-voted or down-voted by other users, Reddit style. The most popular part of the app/website is probably the “Top Nights” feature, which is a collection of the most up-voted texts, organized by day, week, month, or all time.
So, why should you care about anonymous, out-of-context, possibly made-up text messages? Bluntly, you should care because they are hilarious. These aren’t just any texts, but only the most debauched and embarrassing. The best entries are like short stories that imply the existence of entire worlds of filthy humor and regret, outside of the 160-character limit of the message. Texts From Last Night is like a Twitter feed from a teen sex comedy.
This takes us to the next thing any user of TFLN should know up front: these text messages are Not Safe For Work, in the strictest sense of the phrase. iTunes lists the app as rated “17+,” because of, among other things, “Frequent/Intense Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use References;” “Frequent/Intense Profanity;” and “Frequent/Intense Sexual Content.” They do not lie. Texts From Last Night is not for the morally vulnerable, easily offended, or faint of heart.
That said, if you can stomach the raunchiness, the TFLN app is a great time-waster and just downright perfect for the iPhone. The short-form texts are a breeze to read while waiting in line or whenever you have a few extra moments to kill throughout the day. Also, if you ever wish to submit a text message to the site, it’s easy to just go into the SMS app, copy the desired text, and paste it into TFLN.
Texts From Last Night is a scant $0.99 on the App Store, but unfortunately the ability to “moderate,” or up-vote and down-vote entries, is an additional $0.99 purchase from within the app. It’s an odd choice for an app developer to treat a basic function as though it were something for only the die-hard fans, but even $1.98 is not exorbitant. This app is recommended for anyone who has an iPhone and an appreciation for the occasional dirty joke.