GoKart Labs launches Kinly for the mobile family


KinlyFrom inside Minneapolis digital innovation firm GoKart Labs comes Kinly, a social app for families on the go.

Built on the premise that the dominant social network we all love to hate has become unbearably impersonal, noisy, insecure, and narcissistic, Kinly wants to bring us back to what matters most: family.

“It’s very private, practical and fun,” says Kinly’s driver, Matt Johnson, creative and strategy director at GoKart.

Kinly1Kinly combines some of the traditional social network features including photo albums and status updates, along with components that are better suited for a private forum. Personal locations are tracked with the check-in map, parents can record their kids’ allergies, wish lists and medications.  And parents and kids can share in day-to-day activities to stay more closely connected.

“It dawned on me, the tools and technology of a “social network” are incredible. Why not build something purposeful for the people that mattered most in my life: my family,” Johnson explains, regarding the epiphany.

“…Facebook was deciding what I cared about (showing me some posts and not others). I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘This is my life, right?!'”


Kinly2Other obvious players in the private social-location-mobile realm include  Life360 and Path.

“Kinly is the only platform to manage and share your family in private,” Johnson concludes.

While GoKart is most known for their digital marketing and strategy services, they do have a history of creating and launching stand alone products — either internally, or in collaboration. Johnson explains that Kinly is the result of what has now become a more formalized incubation and innovation culture where “Anyone within the company is encouraged to introduce and test their ideas.”

Kinly is available in the app store free of charge for the summer. Starting in September, the app will cost $1.99, while Kinly on Android is forthcoming.

“If we can change the family unit and make it stronger through technology, that is our ultimate goal.”


  • Lori

    Enjoying using Linley with my family. Problem so far is not very one has iPhones or iPads.

  • Tiffany

    Can’t wait until the Android version comes out so we can try it out – sounds fabulous for our family of 6 and big extended family!