Introducing Safely's newest feature: Circles
With a phone at our fingertips, the resources we have access to are unlimited. We should feel safer than ever, right? We have the internet, GPS, texting/calling and cameras in the palm of our hands yet 52% of the population feel unsafe walking in their local area (Source, ABS). Though it may not be possible to completely eliminate that statistic, we challenged ourselves to think about how we can close the gap.
In April we launched Safely with an overwhelming uptake around the world (users from 130 countries and counting downloaded the iOS and Android app) and that made us feel good, knowing that Safely was well received and helping people feel safer and empowered in public. Although we knew as a team that we could achieve more for ourselves and for our community. Safelys current triggers are proven to work, however we knew creating a more proactive solution would assist even more people. One that delves into a woman's subconscious need to keep not only themselves, but others safe by solving a problem instead of reacting to one. With this in mind our founders went back to the drawing board. Today we can finally announce our newest feature, Circles.
3 Reasons why Circles was created
Problem 1: Texting anxiety
Everybody has experienced the heart wrenching feeling of uncertainty when they can’t pinpoint a loved one's location. A car crash was broadcasted right near their house and they aren't responding, you're calling, texting but no response. You panic. An hour later you receive a message ‘sorry i was asleep’.
I think we can all relate to that one…
Texting anxiety is real! The dopamine in your brain can make you happy, anxious, sad when your phone lights up creating a never ending loop. After years of smartphone conditioning and instant access to everything it wants/needs. If you need to chat you text, and you expect a reply... Instantly! Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, psychotherapist has quoted "Many people have text anxiety. It's the surprise element that can get to us, dopamine thrives off of uncertainty and anticipation”
Problem 2: Time anxiety
Time is a limited resource, especially when you live by a calendar. You might find yourself checking the clock or planning out the best route for the Uber to take to ensure you're not late to your dinner reservation because your partner or friend has suddenly gone MIA. The stress that eats away at you while you sit there not knowing if they will turn up in 5 minutes or 30. I know I for one have caught myself thinking about all the things I could have got done in the time I sat on the edge of my bed eagerly waiting and ready to go.
Problem 3: Overreacting
The helplessness, anxiety, and worrying all lead to one thing, one we don't want to fall victim to but often find ourselves surrendering to... overreacting.
Although it is better to be safe than sorry, no one wants the police to be called when in reality they took a nap that wasn't necessary to broadcast to the world. We think everyone can agree that we aren't ourselves when we have these emotions and it comes from a place of love and caring, but when we live in a world run by technology, how have we not come to a solution?
Connect to protect your Circle
We discovered a way to keep everyone connected, groups big or small. Giving users the peace of mind that someone is always there with them.
What are Circles?
A circle is a private community of people created by you. It is a group that you grant your live location to. You can opt-in if you are sent an invite to join a circle in which you can accept/decline. It is a way to stay connected with the people that matter most to you and take a proactive step in protecting yourself and each other.
Features to be released soon:
- Pinpoint where your circle members are on a map
- Choose which circle, e.g. family or friends, you want to see on your map. You can become invisible on the map for selected circles and remain visible to the others.
- Want to fly under the radar? Soon you’ll be able to enter invisible mode so that your location isn’t seen by your fellow circle members.
- Create and be apart of unlimited circles for users on the Protect Myself and Others plan (AUD $4.99 pm)
- 1 free circle for users on the Protect Others Only plan (free for life)
- Create or leave a circle with push button ease
- Coming soon
- Circle chats
- Follow me to watch me go home and automated messages are also coming soon to circles.
- Invisible mode
Putting Circles to the test: You can have circles for family, friends, work events, festivals, the list is never ending.
Scenario 1: Girls night out
We don't want to admit it but the fair share of us are culprits of not following through with a ‘text me when you get home’ message on a night out with our girlfriends. You remember a few hours later or it hits you the next morning and remember you never actually received a message nor did you follow up to make sure they were ok. Setting up a circle and entering the home address of each member will send a notification upon the safe arrival of each member.
Scenario 2: Invisible mode
In the development of this feature we tried our hardest to steer clear of words such as ‘tracking’ because that is not what this feature entails. To ensure our users still have privacy we have created an invisible mode which allows the location of the user to be hidden for up to 24 hours. This ensures the app is used for its intended purpose which is to give its users the ability to take more opportunities and thrive off independence.
Scenario 3: Family first
Instead of looking at it as a way of tracking your kids it can be an opportunity for them to take on more experiences, because they can be protected by the touch of a button. Whether your kids think they are ready to venture out into the world on their own there is nothing wrong with wanting the reassurance of their safety. Whether it is catching the train to school for the first time or walking to a friend's house alone, being able to check in without the nuisance of back and forth messaging allows them to feel independent but in safe hands.
You ask, we listen and together we can change the horrid statistics.
Safely was initially designed as a way for users to trigger alarms and notifications the moment they’re in danger. Over the past three months, we’ve learned that while this gives many people comfort, we need to do more to proactively protect our users and allow them to proactively protect their friends and family.
Circles is the latest feature that will be rolling out to all existing users in August 2021.
All users who are currently paying for the Protect Myself and Others plan, will be able to create unlimited Circles.
All users who are currently on a free or Protect Others Only plan, will be able to create one Circle.
Circles is the first of many new innovations to help protect more women in public.
At Safely, we’re always open to hearing your feedback and ideas.
Sign up to Safely to trial Circles and unlock all premium features for 7 days: USE CODE: ‘TRIBES’
Email an idea to our team and the founders here: firstname.lastname@example.org