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Text Messaging From Your iPhone & Your Blog

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Why Do You Need Texting Options?

Today, I’ll show you two quick ways to integrate texting more easily into your life. It seems nerdy or teen-ager-y but I assure you it’s helpful because there are clients who prefer to communicate via text and we’re all conditioned to reach out to our clients in their chosen mode, right?

People Can Text YOU From YOUR Blog

I know, this week, we’re talking like we’re the Jetsons Family, but this is super easy. So you go to the RETech SMS Widget page, enter your phone number, email, and tell it what website the widget will be on and voila, an embed code is provided for you! Now all you have to do embed it in your sidebar and hooray, people can text your cell phone directly from your blog, talk about instant contact with consumers! PS: standard text messaging rates apply to your phone, so I’d pony up and just go unlimited (says the lady who already has unlimited text messaging).

Free Texting From Your iPhone

You may have a fancy iPhone, but you may not have chosen a good plan that allows you texting, so add the widget we just talked about and then go download iPhone app Yahoo oneConnect (which does tons of stuff but we’re focusing on the SMS possibilities today). Once downloaded, if you have your Yahoo address book full of phone numbers, you can text them with a quick click by using a wifi connection instead of your precious text messages.

Now You’re A Texting Diva or Don

Now, people can text you from your own website and if you’re an iPhone+Yahoo user, you can text without even dwindling down your potentially limited text messages. What texting options are you implementing in your practice? There are tons of them, so let us have it!

photo source

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Chuck G

    October 14, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Hey Lani,

    Thanks for the text tips! I installed the RETech widget last week and it works like a champ. It even looks maaaahvelous, too.

    Chuck

  2. Matt Rains

    October 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Awesome Post!!! I love this site.

    -Matt Rains

  3. Bob Schenkenberger

    October 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks for the heads up, I am installing today. I have been looking for an easy way to allow consumers driving by a listing to simply text a code and have the property details sent back to them. I’m sure I’ve seen it around, but can’t remember where. Any ideas?

  4. Danilo Bogdanovic

    October 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    The text message features seems like a great alternative to having chat on your blog (which I’m not personally a fan of). Thanks for the tip!

  5. Jason Sandquist

    October 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Had the widget installed a couple of days ago, found the stream of somebody talking about it on none other than Twitter. Had a contact off it the other day.

  6. Missy Caulk

    October 14, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Lani, I downloaded the text widget this week, so far no one has texted me from my blog but if they do I am ready.

  7. Vicki Moore

    October 15, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    It’s because of you that I am on twitter, blip – oh forget it. It is because of you that I’m even here.

  8. Jay Handler

    October 20, 2008 at 9:09 am

    To answer Bob’s question (#3 above), my company actually provides Text Message Marketing opportunities for Realtors via our RealtyTXT plan. If you want to provide people the ability to text to get property details delivered to their cell phone, I’d love to talk with you!

    Jay Handler
    President, SellPhone Marketing

  9. Mary

    May 12, 2010 at 11:32 am

    LOVE THE WIDGET! But how can I get the time shown at the top to match my time zone (central). It shows an hour fast. Otherwise perfection!

    Mary

    • Lani Rosales

      May 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

      Mary, since the device came out two years ago, I’m not sure even how to reach the creators, so I’m hoping they’re still subscribed to the comments of this article. I didn’t see any options for changing the time zone, perhaps it recognizes the time zone according to your blog- you might want to see if your blog time is correct (ours here runs on eastern time although our headquarters are physically in central time).

      Let me know if that works! 🙂 If not, I’ll try to help you find the developer’s contact info.

  10. Voip Service

    August 8, 2012 at 1:28 am

    I am a blogger and this one will definitely help me with my blogging career, to be able to post blogs wherever and whenever I feel like posting is definitely something nice.

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.

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Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.

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Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?

Wrong.

Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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