Scrolling through your social media feeds, what stands out? For most people, what stands out are the posts that make your day brighter and lift you up, and those that bring you down. Positivity, like negativity, can spread quickly on social media, and After School is dedicated to making the lives of millions of teens a little brighter.
After School is the largest teen-focused social network in the U.S. with millions of users in all 50 states. The app first launched in November of 2014 with a goal of giving teens an open place to share and connect with their high school classmates, and a mission of making a measurable positive impact on the world.
To make that happen, After School has evolved over the years, going from “controversial” to a safe and positive place for teens. “By working to bring positivity to our users in a variety of ways, we can impact their days, and hopefully, brighten their outlook, improve how they treat classmates online, and give them a release when they’re going through tough times,” says After School CEO Michael Callahan.
Here are 7 ways After School works to spread positivity to users around the country:
After School uses features inside the app to help foster positivity, including Compliments. Compliments allow teens to give classmates affirmations. Users are asked questions, like “who’s the smartest person in school?” or “who takes the best selfies?” The person they select is notified that they’ve been named as the best, brightest, or smartest, which helps boost self-esteem and brighten their day.
Volunteering is proven to boost self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. After School partners with international nonprofit DoSomething.org, an organization that brings young people to action and has empowered over 6 million youth. Through After School’s “Would You” feature, which asks teens if they would like to participate in an action with a classmate, After School helps high school students participate in beneficial activities, from posting positive messages with post-it notes on bathroom mirrors like “you’re beautiful just the way you are!” to learning how to cut down their carbon footprint.
After School is the largest referring partner of DoSomething.org and has helped over 100,000 teens get involved in social campaigns.
Connecting Users with Crisis Counselors
Keeping a network safe and positive goes deeper than supporting those who are sending positive messages to their peers. It’s also about helping those going through difficult times.
After School partners with Crisis Text Line, a non-profit crisis chat service that utilizes trained volunteer Crisis Counselors to assist those in need cost-free. Since August of 2013, Crisis Text Line has exchanged over 76M messages. After School has referred tens of thousands of teens and has assisted in 50 active rescues.
Each user is presented with the After School Community Guidelines. These guidelines, which explain what is and what isn’t allowed on After School, help users avoid harmful behaviors and engage in actions that build up their school and classmates.
Our Community Guidelines include a Zero Tolerance Policy against cyberbullying and threats, and messages about being respectful, legal, and healthy. To increase the real-world impact of these guidelines, After School is currently working with digital and behavioral experts in several fields on ways to make them more effective, and to get more users to read and adapt them into their use of technology and social media.
Promoting Digital Citizenship
Digital citizenship is a term applied to people using the internet and online tools appropriately and responsibly. After School promotes digital citizenship in the app, on our website, and in person through efforts to support nonprofit organizations like My Digital TAT2, Connect Safely, and #ICANHELP, and by participating and speaking at events including the International Bullying Prevention Association’s regional and national events.
After School partners with over a dozen nonprofits and organizations that focus on making a difference in a wide variety of ways. Partnering with Ad Council, After School was a part of the award-winning #IAmAWitness anti-bullying campaign. Together, we created an in-app video to promote kindness and prevent bullying. After School also offers unique opportunities through other partners, from YSA to Peace First to Countable.us. Learn more here.
Instant Removal of Reported Posts
After School gives users the ability to remove a post from their school’s feed with a single tap of “report.” The post is then investigated within 48 hours to see why it was reported, and if it was in violation of After School’s Community Guidelines, how it made it through moderation.
As a growing startup, After School continues to change and evolve. With a focus on bringing joy into the lives of our users, we’ll continue to create new features and fine-tune processes. Learn more about After School by visiting our FAQ page here. To contact After School, email firstname.lastname@example.org.