The Bark Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Bark 2021 logo with confetti Bark

Bark 2021 End-of-Year Review: The Highs, Lows, and Whoas

Haley Zapal  |  December 29, 2021

Bark 2021 logo with confetti

We don’t know about you, but this year felt like it was both a million years long and *also* shorter than the time it takes your kids to brush their teeth. While the world can be an uncertain  and scary place, there’s still lots of good in it. Here at Bark, we had some great wins.  Every year is a good year, though, when it’s spent working together as a team to help protect kids and keep parents up to date with online safety tips. Here are just a few of our Bark 2021 highlights from another unprecedented twelve months in the digital age. Honorable mention not included: the new Adele album.

1: Number of new countries Bark expanded to — South Africa!

Bark’s officially international! We were excited to announce that Bark’s award-winning service is now available to families in South Africa. With a population of nearly 60 million, this expansion will help bring online safety to a whole new level for families in another part of the world! Pssst — we’re just getting started, too.

100: Employees at Bark

The Bark team experienced another incredible year of growth as we crossed a super cool milestone — hitting triple digits with team members! We’re so proud that we keep adding skilled, passionate folks who are drawn to our mission of helping to keep kids safe online and in real life.

212,642: Emails to support our customers

If there’s one thing every parent shares, it’s 100% being busy. The Bark team is full of parents, so we definitely understand the struggle. That’s why our customer support team is available 7 days a week to answer any questions families may have about setting up Bark, connecting accounts, and more. They’re reachable at any time!

15+: Fun quizzes made for parents

From trying your hand at vintage video game history to deciphering the latest TikTok slang and trends, our fun quizzes were a hit with Bark users. They also definitely prompted a little intra-family competition on Saturday morning. Looking at you, spooky slang quiz.

12: Number of app reviews on our brand-new app review page

To help parents figure out what’s helpful and what’s not-so-helpful when it comes to advice on all the latest apps, we launched our new app review site. We’ll be continually updating it with the popular apps that kids are into so parents can stay one step ahead.

365: Number of days of remote work

Like much of the world, the Bark team entered into year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have adjusted — and continue to adjust — to all of the different challenges it's thrown our way. No matter what, we try to stay positive, work hard, and enjoy the little things where we can. Matches of Skriblio at lunch over Zoom? Yes, please.

11: Rounds played of the movie game

The marketing team’s favorite fun Zoom activity is a made-up game we call What Year Is It Anyway? One person quizzes the group on a very small part of movie trivia: the exact year a film was released. Wrong answers are way more fun and always have the whole team laughing. Case in point: Casablanca didn’t come out in 1996.

2: Appearances on The Drew Barrymore Show

Bark’s CMO Titania Jordan had the opportunity to talk about parenting in a tech world not once but twice with mom, movie star, former Josie Grossie, Charlie’s Angel, and now talk show host Drew Barrymore. Also racking up 2? The number of younger Bark team members who didn’t know who Josie Grossie is.

3,000+: Schools and districts using Bark for Schools

Bark for Schools, our free community giveback program, continues to help schools protect students from online threats. The growth of this program has been wildly successful in just the three short years since its launch. We’re humbled to be able to assist schools with online safety in uncertain times. 

12: Tech Bytes videos released on regional news shows

Our 12-part video series aimed at helping parents understand technology aired in 3 huge markets -Charlotte, Dallas, and Atlanta! These byte-sized videos (see what we did there?) explain common dangers, new trends, and tech hacks to parents in a fun, engaging way.  

1: Collaboration with the CDC 

Bark collaborated with the CDC on the first-ever study study linking past online behavior to future events of suicide and self-harm. Using anonymous Bark data, the CDC examined how prior online behaviors like bullying, violence, drug-related content, hate speech, profanity, sexual content, depression, and low-severity self-harm among youth can be used to predict the risk of a future suicide or self-harm event. The results were published in JAMA Network Open.

160,000+: Users in Parenting in a Tech World, our Facebook group.

Just a few years ago, our Facebook group was a place where a few thousand parents gathered to talk shop about raising kids in the digital age. Fast forward to today and we have 160,000+ users! We’re so proud to have created such a positive community — something rare in this day and age — where families can ask questions, support one another, and even share the latest and greatest memes. 

Bark 2021… and beyond

That’s it for the Bark 2021 recap! We hope you have a great start to the new year. We can’t wait to keep working on new updates, releases, and research to help you keep your kids safe online and in real life. 

Keep an eye out for some really, really exciting things to come in 2022!

Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives.

mother and daughter discussing Bark Parental Controls