After School

After School logo

After School was a proprietary iOS and Android, social network mobile application that allows users in a defined network, aimed at high schools, to share anonymous text-based posts and images with others.

Quick Facts

Summary

  • Ranked N/A
  • Active users 100,000
  • Type Anonymous Networks
  • Launched date Nov 2014
  • Employees 7
  • Headquarters San Francisco, California
  • Parent company None

Founders

person
Michael Callahan Chicago
person
Cory Levy

Networks

  • Brand value In 2020 N/A
  • Revenue in 2020 N/A
  • Net loss In 2020 N/A

Current Controversies

Current ControversiesBlue After School. (via techcrunch.com)

The app was bombarded with users shortly after launch and before it had built any safety or reporting features; high school students took advantage of the anonymity to bully and threaten one another, which caused a media frenzy driven by concerned parents and school administrators.

The App Store then removed After School for violating the “personal attacks” and “objectionable content” categories from its safety guidelines. The app was down for almost four months before new safety measures were implemented, including human curators who read every post.

Safety issues were responsible for all of After School’s trouble during the tail end of 2014. Multiple gun threats and cyberbullying incidents led school and political officials to call for the app’s removal. The problem was that After School didn’t have the appropriate reporting and safety measures in place - the app took off in popularity before co-founders Levy and CEO Michael Callahan were prepared to handle the traffic.

After School has since recruited a Safety Board to advise its founders on security and anti-bullying issues, and it added DoSomething.org as an official partner as part of Wednesday’s announcement, a volunteer organization for young people. The first partnership effort is around a campaign to get students “posting positive messages to boost the self-esteem of their peers,” according to an announcement shared with Re/code.

Criticism

The service has received criticism for enabling cyberbullying due to its anonymous nature and intended audience, as well as not being accessible by parents or teachers.

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

The site was founded in Latvia by brothers Ilja (Iļja) and Mark Terebin (Marks Terebins), Oskars Liepiņš, Valērijs Višņakovs and Klāvs Sinka, and launched on 16 June 2010, as a rival to Formspring.

By 2013, ASKfm reached 65 million registered users and continued its growth by approx. 300,000 new users per-day.

Brief History

2014
Nov After School was founded.
2015
Apr After School implemented “mature content” filters, age verification, 24/7 live anonymous support, and FIRST (Fastest Internet Response System for Threats).
2016
Feb After School announced raising a $16.4M Series A round.

The app also detects threatening or harmful messages using "language algorithms" and "enforces a single-report immediate user removal for violations."

2020

Service has not been formally discontinued, the website is offline and the applications are no longer available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Network Features

Features For Parental Caution

Completely anonymous.

Tracks location.

Parents/adults cannot use the app.

Collects personal/device information.

17+ due to mild profanity/alcohol and drug reference/mild nudity and sexual content.

User

After School is exclusively designed for school-aged children and teenagers, and adults are not allowed on the app. Students must verify their age and which school they attend before they can join the network. This is considered a safety measure by the app designers.

How The After School App Works

Users of the After School app can gain access with Facebook, but they also need to verify which school they attend. Once verified, members can connect with their classmates and post messages on their school’s network feed.

Get Involved

Whether it’s After School or some other app – there will always be some sort of social networking fad that enables users to conceal their true identities. So, when your child is at an age you deem appropriate for them to begin engaging with social media, take the opportunity to discuss the dangers associated with anonymous apps. You may also want to discuss:

Who they can talk to if they have a negative experience online.

Who they can talk to if they have a negative experience online.

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