Women-only online social advice, news, and lifestyle portal GirlsGuideTo is announcing the addition of former Hipstamatic Web director Josh Symonds as a co-founder and CTO. The site delivers crowd-sourced advice on life, love, health and beauty topics to women 18-35 and uses Facebook connect as a filter to keep it exclusive to the fairer sex.
“We see GirlsGuideTo TV as a destination for women to ask questions and get advice about the
various day to day issues women ponder,” says founder Brette Borow.
Borow launched the site in 2009 and has built the business, which she calls “Cosmo for the Facebook generation,” as a one woman team until earlier this year. The site creates its own content, sources it from other publications, and crowdsources it from users. Without additional staff, the founder admittedly (and understandably) hasn’t been able to adapt as quickly as she’d like to trends and changes in the market.
The addition of Symonds will coincide with the upcoming release of the newly branded website with improved functionality. Symonds was a founding member at the Hipstamatic, where he administered, designed and developed the servers and code underpinning the photo filtering service.
GirlsGuideTo is moving beyond its existing editorial content with the announcement of GirlsGuideTo TV in partnership with content creation and marketing platform Big Frame. The YouTube channel is described as a weekly video version of “‘The View’ for young women.”
“We are hoping that this show will be empowering with candid conversations that women can have in a safe space,” says Big Frame co-founder Sarah Penna.
The show will air each Wednesday — the first episode was released yesterday — and will feature several YouTube stars as hosts, including Jessica Lizama, Nikki Phillippi, Kelsey Darragh, and Miranda Mayo. The first season will tackle taboo topics such as “the decrease of libido,” “what’s the normal frequency of sex?” and the much-debated “can women and men really be friends?”
Monetization for both the Web portal and video network is purely advertising driven. While Borow would not disclose specific user statistics, she did reveal the traffic has been doubling monthly “for a while now.” GirlsGuideTo raised seed financing of “several hundred thousand dollars” in January of this year and again this month from CincyTech Ventures.
For a long time, the Web and YouTube were considered bastions of young males. Today, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As women shift more and more of their social communities, business lives, and entertainment online, destinations like GirlsGuideTo become essential gathering places. This isn’t to say that the road ahead will be an easy one. But Borow’s startup is in the right place at the right time. With newly added talent, the opportunity ahead is a big one.