Panic Button iPhone/Android App Lets Kids Alert Families ASAP

Check-in. That appears to be the key word behind the rapid growth of Life360, a company billed as “your family’s private safety network” that just announced its app is now being used by over 2 million families, and growing by 100,000 to 120,000 users each week.

Check-in.  That appears to be the key word behind the rapid growth of Life360, a company billed as “your family’s private safety network” that just announced its app is now being used by over 2 million families, and growing by 100,000 to 120,000 users each week.

Life360’s free iPhone and Android apps feature a “panic” button that immediately notifies parents via push notification, SMS, or email when their child hits it. The app also maps registered sex offenders in users’ neighborhoods and towns.

The panic button has been a mainstay of the app since the San Francisco-based startup first launched in 2009.

Earlier this year, however, the company changed the name of the button from “panic” to “Check-in,” and the numbers speak for themselves.

TechCrunch first reported the app’s spike in growth on January 20th, after the slight tweak was made:

“Recently, Life360 has been adding over 10,000 families per day — it just set a new record last week, with 72,000 family signups. In total, it is approaching 1 million registered families, 363,000 of whom were active last month. And these are families we’re talking about — the absolute number of downloads is higher.”

Fast-forward to this month, April 14th to be exact, when Life360 announced it had hit the 2 million mark, with 1 million of those families signing on to the service in just the last 10 weeks.

The check-in on the Life360 app sends GPS coordinates from a child to their parents. Changing the language from a “panic” call from child to parents, to just an “I’m here and checking in” message is obviously much more appealing, and easy to swallow, for parents and kids alike.

The functionality also raises the bar on the much-debated check-in, giving it a purpose instead of leaving people wondering why they care or need to know where their friend just ‘checked-in.’

Life360’s Android and iPhone apps are free, but the company also sells monthly subscriptions ($4.99) for non iPhone and Android phones, and a dedicated GPS tracker ($99 plus $9.99 monthly subscription).

The company, founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when its developers saw a need for emergency preparedness, offers other services too like child identification paraphernalia, medical IDs, and credit and identity protection.

It was the mobile tracking feature though that won Life360 a $300,000 investment from Google and, now, growth.

The company has reportedly raised $1.5 million recently in additional funding and plans to release a new version of its app this month with additional features.

So maybe the check-in isn’t dead after all?  Tell us what you think.