I am a new paid subscriber, and am evaluating your product before I decide to either continue to use it, or find a more suitable product. Bark has the potential to be great, and to provide parents the ability to monitor their kids social media interactions which is the biggest concern for most parents today. Many other apps provide site blocking, screen time, etc., which is standard, but Barks social media monitoring is what prompted me to sign up, even though it is on the higher price point compared to other parental control products. However, Bark falls short greatly due to the limitations imposed on parental choices, which I truly believe a company should not make for its subscriber base.
I also had a conversation with a Police Officer about “Privacy” for minors. I was told that when it comes to parenting of minors, the parents have the right to full access/visibility and transparency to all activities and information of their children (minors).
Considering this, can Bark provide parents the choice of what to monitor and see? Not having the ability to see the full context of an alert only makes me more frustrated, concerned and anxious, which will then cause me to have a 1 on 1 with my child. I only want to take that step IF it warrants it, and whether or not the situation warrants it depends on the full context of the alert, as more often than not, the alert is misleading and lacking information.
Other suggested improvements that I would like to see:
- Dashboard can be more informative and better presented… for a paid subscription, this dashboard is VERY minimal
- Assumption that all parents know what an icon represents is not good. Tell us what account is being scanned in plain English, instead of showing icons
- Be clear which device the alert is generated from… user should not have to go digging around to find that data
- Top Contacts would be better if you also show how many alerts were generated by them, and then the ability to drill down on those subsequent alerts by those specific contacts
- Screen Time… not sure whether this is actually working as intended. The bedtime is set for 10pm-10am, but I see activity alerts generated at 2am? Not sure if my daughter is active at this time, or whether the Bark scan is run at this time. Need clarity. How do I know that Screen Time is actually cutting off access? Need to show this info on the dashboard.
- Blocked sites… a count is useless if parents are not given the visibility into what type of sites their child is visiting. If harmful sites are somehow making it through the filters, I want to know about them.
- Why not consider organizing by account being scanned? (i.e: contacts, alerts, stats, et.c for that account). For example, if there is a Discord account, then I want to know everything about that account within its own space… I shouldn’t have to dig through many alerts to figure out what is Discord, and what is Google Mail, etc. Just better organization all around is needed.
I apologize if the above sounds a little harsh, but I don’t think my expectations are any higher than that of most concerned parents. Just stating how I see things so that Bark can take the appropriate steps to improve their product, as this is not a free service. The value needs to be realized for the cost of the service. Currently, although I like the idea and the concept quite a bit, I am finding too many shortfalls… so hoping Bark can address these quickly to convince me that I have chosen the right product/platform to keep my child safe in the continuously changing online world today.
Once again… I truly do like the social media monitoring, but if another product will provide me the same but also provide me much better context, clarity, controls, and organization, I will be inclined to swtich. This is a huge shortfall to Bark, in my opinion.
Looking forward to hearing from you.