Worried about your teenage daughter's social plans being plastered all over Facebook? There's a new app for that.
Built with busy teens in mind, galndr (the name rhymes with "calendar") aims to help teenage girls manage their schedules, while giving parents the peace of mind that comes with privacy. Girls invite their friends to be a part of their inner circle on galndr. They can text, share photos and plan trips to movies, concerts and more through the app.
The app's creators come from the media and tech worlds. Kaaren Whitney-Vernon, the publisher of Canadian teen magazine Vervegirl, co-founded the app with Sergio Basilone, a dad to two teenage girls who runs a phone and Internet service provider in the London, Ontario area. Galndr, also based in Ontario, has a partnership with Vervegirl that includes YouTube videos and contests to promote the new app.
Between school, sports, extracurriculars, jobs, chores and social obligations, the average teen has a packed day. But Whitney-Vernon noted that most schedule-managing apps are designed for parents, not kids.
"Things like Google Calendar and Outlook are built for people that are older," Whitney-Vernon said.
"While other apps may appeal to teens, or be teen-focused, galndr is different in that it is private and was built just for teens -- based on their real-life social behavior," Basilone said. "We saw that there was no app or social network just for teen girls and their BFFs and knew that there was a need for it."
So why focus on young women? Whitney-Vernon said she always wanted to make the app specifically for teen girls, thanks to her magazine background.
"To be honest, girls are more social and would engage in what we created more than teen boys. They use social media more than boys do, so we think they're an easier target," she said.
The goal is to take the virtual calendar and make it right for teen girls. "Similar to how WhatsApp took SMS from a native phone function to a mainstream cross-platform app, we saw this opportunity currently presenting itself for calendars," Basilone said.
But the app wasn't just designed with young people in mind. Basilone and Whitney-Vernon said that parents should appreciate galndr, too. Because information never leaves the galndr app, adults don't need to worry about their daughters' plans and conversations ending up out on the web. It's a group text and calendar that allows teen girls to be safe, the founders said.
Galndr was released for iPhone and Android in July. For now, the app is being funded by the co-founders and a group of family and friends. It hasn't officially launched, but has about 1,000 members, the founders said. They plan to promote the app more just as their intended audience returns to school and busy schedules.
With the focus on the lucrative teenage demographic, galndr is entering a crowded space. The app will have to compete for time with established networks like Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, which are already very popular with teens.
Whitney-Vernon likened her vision for the app to the way teens adopted BlackBerry Messenger several years ago as a space just for their own communication. Galndr is "a platform where teens can openly communicate and express themselves with their closest friends," she said.