Springster is a global mobile-first platform, which celebrates the diverse, inspirational and convention-defying experiences of girls all over the world.

Accessible on any device and tailored for lower bandwidth speeds in over 50 countries, Springster publishes unique content every month in 13 languages, using formats from listicles and interviews to multimedia and infographics.

Khwezi Magwaza, Editorial Director for Girl Effect, shares what Springster topics are popular with girls and how the mobile platform is transforming their online world.

1. How do we know girls are responding to our content?

Well sometimes they’ll tell us, by leaving comments like “heart eyes emoji, heart eyes emoji, heart eyes emoji. OMG! i love you guys so much!”

As much as we love to get this direct kind of adoration, industry standards also tell us that the majority of users will never leave a comment. So for the rest we rely on analytics, surveys and soon A/B testing as well as our brand new emoji reaction questions. Using these tools we collect information like:

  • Was this information new to the girl?
  • Is she intending to try the advice in the story?
  • How much time has she spent reading this story?
  • (my personal favourite) How many girls didn’t click on a pithy headline?

2. What content is popular with girls, and why would they come to Springster to find it?

It’s hardly surprising that stories about periods are consistently our best performing articles. But it may be interesting to dig a little deeper into why. Well firstly, no matter how much information there is out there, experience has taught me that for each girl experiencing puberty for the first time ‘their period’ will always be the most peculiar, confusing, and anxiety-inducing.

But now think about dealing with this life changing event when you’re a vulnerable girl. You may not have anyone to talk to about what’s going on in your body, or maybe those around you are telling you that what’s happening to you is taboo, that it’s something to be hidden. So you turn to your phone. The internet has information, right? You use Google but your device keeps timing out on the sites you visit. Eventually you find something, but the language is hard to understand, the articles are long and boring, the advice is clearly just not meant for a girl like you…this leaves you feeling even more alone.

Enter Springster: without having to pay for data needed you can get access to dozens of articles about periods. All written in your language, with girls just like you in mind. You read the stories and questions from other girls sharing experiences about their periods, no shame, like it’s the most natural thing! So one day you decide to ask your question, it can remain a secret you don’t have to reveal your name. That same day you get an answer from the Big Sister… she just seems to get it, she’s so easy to talk to… #LifeChanging! 

3. So just by existing, Springster is changing the online world for girls?

You better believe it! Firstly because we know that few online spaces are made for, by or with girls. Least of all the vulnerable girls Springster targets. For that reason Springster is not just creating engaging, informative content, we’re also investing in figuring out new ways to unlock more spaces for their voices to be heard online.

One such initiative is the Girl Contributor Network (GCN). Since June 2017 we have been testing ways to foster ongoing contributions from girls on Springster South Africa. Working with local organisations like Soul City, we’ve trained and provided ongoing digital mentorship to 70 girls in their after school clubs who have shown potential as writers. This month we look forward to publishing their first batch of stories. So though we’ve provided a space for girls to contribute stories via monthly Your Words competitions in all our priority markets for over two years (we’ve received over 6000 contributions this way) now the GCN goes that extra step towards deepening this engagement with our girls.

Basically it’s fulfilling Springster’s vision to make spaces about girls, for girls, by girls the new normal online – one girl story at a time!

Find out more about Springster