Anonymous gossip app “After School” — a social network created specifically for high schoolers — first launched and immediately took off in late 2014.
When it launched, teens used After School to post everything from their secret crushes to “vulgar assessments of their classmates,”according to The Washington Post.
The app’s founders insist that After School is a place for teenagers to send “private messages to share their thoughts, feelings, words of encouragement, funny statements and secrets with their school.”
Founders Michael Callahan and Cory Levy didn’t anticipate just how quickly After School would gain traction. They hadn’t had time to build in safety features when the app launched in late 2014.
“Interest rocketed from 0 to 50% of all US high schools in two weeks,” Levy told the Huffington Post. “We didn’t have in place yet the ability to monitor and understand the complexities of the eco system,” Callahan said.
Soon after it launched, the app was banned from the App Store after users utilised the app to make multiple school shooting threats across various high schools. The App Store removed the app because it violated two categories of its safety guidelines: “personal attacks” and “objectionable content.”
Four months later, After School rejoined the app store, putting new safety measures in place. Now, everything that gets posted to After School is read by a human moderator. And the app has a Safety Board too.
A ban from the App Store could cripple a startup. But After School doesn’t seem to have lost popularity with teenagers. According to a number of teens we recently spoke with for our state of the union on the American teenager, After School is one of their favourite apps.
Further, on Wednesday, the app announced it had raised a hefty Series A round of $16.4 million led by Accomplice, Re/code reports. Other investors in the round include Cowboy Ventures, Parse co-founder Tikhon Bernstam, and AngelList founder Naval Ravikant.
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