By now you’ve probably heard the story of Tay, the AI-powered chat bot Microsoft debuted last Wednesday. Things started off innocently enough before Tay went completely off the rails, going on racist rants and tweeting her support of Adolf Hitler before Microsoft pulled the plug.
We’ve written before about how texting could be used for political campaigns. You could use it for voter registration, voting day reminders, or even to set up a text hotline to get real-time feedback on what’s going on at polling places.
But now we can add a new texting use case to the list: attack ads.
The city of Evanston, Ill. has worked with OneReach to provide residents with the ability to check the health inspection scores of local restaurants over text.
Climate justice is about to get a little bit sweeter.
Ben & Jerry’s is rallying climate activists (and anyone with a sweet tooth) to take action on climate change. The ice cream maker, a long-time supporter of climate justice, is urging citizens worldwide to contact world leaders in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, which begins at the end of November.
Tired of ordering pizza over the phone? Domino’s understands—that’s why they’ve launched AnyWare, letting you “order your favorite oven-baked goodness on your favorite devices.”
I’m not going to lie—this is a pretty awesome use case (in theory). With AnyWare, you can text, tweet and even use your Smart TV to order pizza and more, and all you have to do is send a pizza emoji.
After graduating from YCombinator back in February, a startup called Magic, an SMS concierge service, went viral, wowing Americans with the prospect that they could order almost anything via text message and have it show up at their door – not to mention the $12 million investment they garnered from Sequoia Capital, with a $40 million valuation). After provisioning a Twilio number and rolling the service out to a few friends, the service suddenly skyrocketed in popularity, thanks to some well-placed features on Product Hunt and Hacker News (and just good old word-of-mouth).
Investors and companies are now starting to see the value of SMS (finally!), and so are emerging Magic competitors. Entrepreneurs around the world have begun innovating on the “Magic” model, spanning from straight up copycats to various niche-specific spins on the model – for example, the SMS concierge service for travelling performers and staff in the music-touring business. If you have an existing or potential SMS concierge business in mind, you’ll be very glad to know just how easy it is to equip yourself with the right tools and services to make it happen.
Are you ready to say bonjour to the simple life? Stella Artois thinks so.
OneReach recently collaborated with Stella Artois, ad agency Mother New York and production company Stopp to create a unique user experience for Stella Artois web visitors. To promote their Hamptons Picnic Properties sweepstakes, Stella Artois provided users with an interactive experience where users could chat with brand ambassador Le Président before entering to win the competition.
Three weeks ago, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, killing 7,000 people and displacing millions. Homes were leveled, monuments were reduced to rubble, and a people were shaken.
In the hours that followed, aid organizations rushed into action, mobilizing medical personnel and rescue workers in response to the crisis. Organizations like Doctors Without Borders and global Red Cross societies organized search and rescue efforts, tended to the wounded and distributed supplies.
Then, a second earthquake hit.
Across the world, countries have put forth millions of dollars in aid, with the U.S. alone pledging $26 million. On a smaller scale, global citizens have made donations of their own, whether online, over the phone or through text messaging. But in the wake of a disaster, it’s important not only to only to have donations set up—it’s important to have communications as well.
In the past, business SMS focused on marketing programs and simple notifications. That’s changing. There is now significant consumer demand to text a business for customer support. This extends to the public sector–large cities are starting to provide text messaging services to their residents for 311 service. This is partially in response to consumer demand for texting for support: over 64% of Americans would rather text than call for help.
Nearly 300 cities across the nation have a 311 call system in place that citizens can contact, but only a handful of cities—New York City, Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Boston—have these numbers text-enabled. It costs cities an average of $3.40 to answer a phone call, whereas answering a text only costs 60 cents (and even less if the message is automated).
Companies are connecting with customers in more ways than ever, but when it comes to customer support, many businesses still rely on just phone or email. While these are important channels, customers are beginning to expect more options from the companies they do business with. Customers ultimately expect businesses to support how they want to communicate — phone, email, web chat, social media and texting—and they want to work with the companies that make interacting easy.