New App Helps College Women Share Experiences, Grow Influence

28 Row is creating a community where college women can discuss shared experiences, offer emotional support and grow their social media presence.
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  • 28 Row launched an app helping college women connect over shared experiences.
  • It was initially founded as an influencer network for college students.
  • Unlike other social media marketing networks, 28 Row has no follower requirements.

College women now have their own space to connect over shared experiences and grow their social media presence.

28 Row initially launched in 2018 with a network of women influencers to provide brands with content creation, sponsored posts, focus groups, on-campus events, and more. But as the company's influencer network expanded, so did its need for more offerings, 28 Row co-founder and managing director Janie Karas told BestColleges.

"[Our influencers] were telling us that they wanted a place to all connect with each other," Karas said. "We created a big GroupMe chat and were so taken aback by how much engagement there was."

But the unstructured chat with about 500 women led to conversations being lost. Karas and co-founder Cindy Krupp realized they had a unique opportunity to do something new.

"These women needed an organized space where they could talk about mental health, fashion, beauty, fitness, all in one place," Karas said. "And it should be for all college women."

28 Row designed their new app to provide that space. Though many of its current members are influencers or content-creating hopefuls, the app is open to all college women, regardless of their interests or intended career paths. Unlike other marketing platforms that have minimum follower requirements, 28 Row's only requirement is that you're a student. All that's needed to sign up is an .edu account.

"We want everyone to know … it's not about being an influencer; it's about being a college woman and seeking an environment where you can connect with other college women," said Krupp.

The whole purpose of the app is for students to have peer-to-peer support on a platform that is safe, inclusive, and, most importantly, private, according to its co-founder and managing director.

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The whole purpose, Karas added, is for students to have peer-to-peer support on a platform that is safe, inclusive, and, most importantly, private.

"Their moms aren't seeing what they're sharing. Their campus administrators aren't seeing it. So they [are able] to get really vulnerable, and we've seen such positive support come out of that," Karas said.

Any college woman who may want to join but has concerns about how active they'd need to be on the app should put their worries aside, Karas and Krupp stress. Being active on social media, or the app itself, is not a requirement to seek advice or read along in various areas of the app.

The app is still in its early stages after officially launching and becoming more widely available throughout 2020 and 2021. But as Karas and Krupp look toward the future, they hope to expand their membership and have all college women using the app.

"[The idea for this app] really came out of a need of the community … it's been kind of amazing to watch [its growth]," said Krupp. "We want all college women on this app … and we've only just scratched the surface."