If you had said to me in the past, that I would be spending Facebook’s 12th birthday meeting Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, I would have laughed. But that’s exactly what happened. GirlCrew has brought me on many crazy journeys, but this has to be one of the most exciting. As a company, we were making strides from becoming a small network of women in Dublin, to a global movement. A community born on Facebook that we turned into a business, and now, are expanding further the launch our own platform.
The strength of our community attracted the attention of the Facebook team. Each year they gather interesting stories that have emerged from the site to celebrate Facebook’s birthday in California. Last year, we were selected. My co-founders Pamela Newenham, Elva Carri and I were flown from Dublin to Silicon Valley for a private tour of Facebook and Instagram’s headquarters. We also had the chance to meet with Mark Zuckerberg, and Sheryl Sandberg to discuss the vision for our company, and learn more about the future of Facebook. A once in a lifetime opportunity for any startup founder.
GirlCrew started as a Tinder hack. Elva changed her gender settings to male so she’d appear to women and encouraged them to meet to go dancing. Overnight she had over 100 matches, so she moved to Facebook. From there the group kept growing and growing, and women began requesting GirlCrew in other cities. Within months we had GirlCrew groups across various cities worldwide, including Melbourne, Toronto, New York and Edinburgh.
Unlike other networks, we operate both online and offline. We provide space for members to share advice and recommendations online, but then meet up at events offline. This has seen users find jobs, houses, nannies, new clients and career help through our networks. They have also best friends, running buddies, and so much more. Our network is built around the concept of community. Members join their local city group, and are immediately connected with locals in their area. From there they can also browse international topic groups covering health and fitness, travel, bloggers, careers and entrepreneurs.
I’m Aine, the CMO of GirlCrew, a platform for women to make new friends. GirlCrew has more than 100,000 members in 46 cities worldwide. In 2016, Facebook featured GirlCrew on Facebook Stories for their 12th Anniversary.