burner

Working the Election? Phone Banking? Get A Free, Unlimited Burner

Today we announced that we are making Burner numbers available free of charge, on an unlimited-use basis, for all people who want them for the purposes of getting out the vote or otherwise supporting the election.

Thanks to all those working this important election season from Burner.

Thanks to all those working this important election season from Burner.

I'm beyond proud of how the Burner team dove into action on this, which all started literally yesterday when we read that the NYTimes was making itself free for election coverage and thought, "what a wonderful idea -- we should do something like that too".  In the course of half a day, the team spun up and shipped this, and we're all happy to share it.

I hope you will join me in sharing to social media channels, friends, and relevant influencers and politicos who might be interested.  As I am sure you know, turnout will be a key driver of the outcome of this election at the top of the ticket and down-ballot -- as will the work of those out there helping ensure fair and legal voting procedures are followed.  

No one should have to compromise their own privacy to do this kind of work, and we've actually had a number of requests for bulk numbers for electioneering.  This is now available for everyone -- and if using Burner helps a few people out there be less reluctant to participate in our great (if occasionally crazy) democracy, we will consider this a home run.

Thank you so much for your work.

Click here to get a free Burner number for Get Out The Vote & Election volunteers

Lifehacker: Five Useful Things You Can Do With a Burner Phone Number

Fantastic Burner rundown by Lifehacker's Patrick Allan! That and we're gonna need this graphic as an oil painting for the office!

Full story at Lifehacker.com

Burner featured in Lifehacker

Burner featured in Lifehacker

When you think of “burner” phone numbers, espionage and spies probably come to mind. But there are plenty of reasons regular folks would want a burner number, and a few apps, let you create as many as you need. Here are a few ways you can use a burner number professionally, to protect your privacy, and even kill text message spam.

Before you begin, you’ll need the right app for the job. Burner, available for iOS and Android, is the most popular, and the one we’ll reference most in this guide.
— http://lifehacker.com/five-useful-things-you-can-do-with-a-burner-phone-numbe-1787635006

Slack Integration for Mobile and a Dialer That Will Make You Say “WOW.”

The Slack Connection is one of our most popular, so we’ve included two small but important updates in this release (3.2.7).  As before, you can connect any Burner line to Slack, and inbound texts, pictures, and voicemails to that Burner will appear in the selected channel for everyone on the team to see and reply to. As a new option outbound texts sent from the mobile app, can now also be sent to Slack.  

Visiting the settings screen of your Burner number (click the gear icon). After you have connected Slack to your phone number the  above options will appear.

Visiting the settings screen of your Burner number (click the gear icon). After you have connected Slack to your phone number the  above options will appear.

We’ve also improved our handling of links emojis, and other formatted elements on outbound texts sent from Slack to another phone number. Yes, that is correct:  you can text people directly from slack, and you, or you and your team can see the results (choose wisely).

We’re also excited to announce the first in a series of updates centered around enhancing the way inbound and outbound calls work in Burner. The most noticeable change in 3.2.7 is a completely redesigned dialer, which we love the look of, and should be easier for those of you with small hands or big phones (or both!) to use, as we’ve positioned the keypad towards the bottom of the screen.  One beta tester’s response to the dialer was “wow,” and the whole Burner team loves a wow factor, so we are pretty happy. Try it out and have a guaranteed “wow” moment.

Underlying the new design of the Dialer is another big change that we’re keeping under wraps for now, but will start rolling out over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more!

 

 

Revolution and Evolution in Mobile Messaging

 

At Burner we are always releasing features and bug fixes, but we don’t always talk about it. We tend to alternate between revolution and evolution. Today we are launching a new interface for texting, and one of its key features is the ability to view multiple lines when composing texts.  It is always feels good to make the product a little better, and to know that our customer experience is always improving.  


In all we will be releasing five new features (some are obvious and others harder to see) and nine bug fixes.  Improving Burner is a never-ending experience, and that is the way we like it.  Expect some significant new features in the coming months, but also relax and enjoy the little improvements that are being released regularly.

Click Here to Download Burner Today!

Fun with Webhooks: Text Us for A Chance to Win a Blink(1) Indicator

 

We decided to have a little fun with our Burner Developer Connection webhooks and the internet of things! We purchased some of ThingM's new blink(1) LED indicators for our team to play around with and test with phone numbers. These open-source lights were designed to give you glance-able notice of anything on your computer, the internet, and now: A PHONE NUMBER! It packs three dimensions of information (color, brightness, and pattern) into a single tiny package that fits into any USB port on nearly every device. So... Text us and tell us why you want one!

 

(310) 879-1899
All texts automated to a Google Sheet.
Winner selected noon PST Wednesday, December 23rd!

 

We won’t delve too deep into the specifics of our telephonic sorcery but it involves some basic online tools to put the internet (and phone numbers) to work for you!

Using IFTTT we created a Maker recipe for our blink(1). In doing so we created a webhook where our light flashed a certain color pattern based on a “triggered event.”

Burner_IFTTT_Blink1

 

Next, we used Zapier’s webhooks to automate entries on a Google Sheet. Zapier matches the data sent from my Burner phone numer to the corresponding fields in our Google sheet:

Burner_Zapier_Sheets

So we have now created two separate webhooks (one on IFTTT and one on Zapier) that we want to work simultaneously through a single triggered event (an inbound text to our Burner). Using Reflector.io, we are able to power multiple pass-thrus with a single webhook: 

Burner_Reflector_Blink1

Final step is to add the Reflector webhook URL to our Burner phone number's Developer Connection

And VOILA! So send us a text at (310) 879-1899 to add your entry to our random drawing. Good luck!

Burner_Blink1_Animated

Iration: “Hotting Up” with Burner Connections & Soundcloud

Iration_2015_web.jpg

Overview

Iration is an alternative/reggae group out of Santa Barbara, CA. Their latest album, Hotting Up, recently debuted #1 on Billboard Reggae. To coincide with the release of the new album, they wanted to build a fan promo while sourcing album feedback.

Using Burner’s Soundcloud Connection, Iration were able to set up a phone number that fans could call to leave messages sharing their favorite songs from the new album.  The messages would be automatically uploaded to Soundcloud, where the band could review, make a playlist of interesting content, and picks 3 winners of pairs of tickets to an upcoming show.

Launch Dates

Sept 11-14th, 2015

 

Process

  1. Create a Burner phone number for the desired area code

  2. Personalize the Burner line with a photo and the voicemail greeting with a call to action

  3. Authorize the Soundcloud Connection to the new Burner phone number

  4. Set Auto-upload to Private, so we could preview

  5. Promote the number across social networks inviting users to call & leave voicemails

  6. Users call & leave voicemails; Burner auto-uploads to your account

  7. Review posts, curate a playlist, and post/re-share

Social Posts (805) 918-5999

 

Results

The band received 100 quality fan voicemails about the new album. In the process they were also able to get a better understanding of the fan favorites (“Lost and Found,” “867,” and “Reelin”), which they were also able to combine with other data to build their case for radio play.

(“Reelin” is the 1st single off the album currently spinning on multiple radio stations across the country. “867” is actually in position to be the next radio single. “Lost and Found” is the reggae track that they knew would be among the fan favorites.)

The band narrowed down their top 10 fan voicemails to make a Soundcloud playlist, which they of course shared to their fans there as well as through other social media channels.

They also selected three fans to win pairs of tickets to the upcoming shows of their choice.

Collectively, the promotion generated a significant amount of fan content, user insights, audience engagement, and social media reach for a relatively trivial investment of effort and a with a very simple setup.

 

Iration’s Hotting Up Burner Fan Messages - WINNERS

Feedback

Burner Connections for Soundcloud and Dropbox was SEAMLESS and beyond easy to set up and manage. The band set the Burner’s ringer to OFF and just watched the notifications come through indicating voicemails and messages uploaded to Soundcloud.

Next Steps

In addition to the Soundcloud Connection, Iration also implemented the Burner Dropbox Connection. The band has all the voicemails saved for archival purposes and also created a folder for the best messages. They will text all the fans back who actually called and left messages (since they have a record them and phone numbers).

Iration are working on the next Burner Soundcloud promos around their upcoming nationwide tour dates.

Introducing Burner 3.0 for Android

We’re excited to announce that we’re launching a brand new look and feel for Burner on Android! This is our biggest design update for Android and builds upon a ton of feedback that we’ve heard from customers. The goal is always to make Burner the easiest way to stay in touch with people without compromising your personal information or phone number, and we think Burner 3.0 does just that. Here are some of the highlights:

Unified Inbox

Managing more than one number in Burner just got much easier! With the unified inbox you can view and respond to all of your recent conversations from different Burner numbers in one place. To help you stay organized, we now give each of your Burners a unique color, so when you’re viewing conversations quickly in the inbox, you know exactly which Burner someone is contacting you through. If you ever need to go through your older messages, or you only want to view the messages on one of your Burners you can easily filter by that Burner and view your entire history.

Material Design

Again, this is our biggest design update for Burner. You’ll see the use of colors, animations and transitions throughout the app, fully embracing material design principles. Navigation and design patterns should feel familiar and blend right into your workflow with all the apps you love!

Android Wear

We know that our customers are busy, managing work and personal lives and anything we can do to make Burner more accessible when you’re on the go is huge win! Burner now supports use with your smartwatch so you can quickly view your notifications and messages and respond in an instant with voice commands.

Stay tuned

This is just the beginning of a ton of new features that will be coming to Android so stay tuned and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to get all the latest news!

 

Why Burner is the Perfect Utility for Social Media Managers, Part 2

Hello, Xavier from SocialSoundSystem again! In our first blog post we discussed how we rely on Burner for social media management and community management for the band Iration. Today I’d like to share how we’re using the app for direct-to-fan engagement.

A PRIVACY LAYER FOR THE PUBLIC LIFE

Burner is a privacy layer for your life. For artists, celebrities, and other public figures this is a huge value proposition. To expand on our use-case in the music industry, Burner gives artists and band members the ability to engage with fans and the general public without compromising their personal phone number. Our artists can now create and manage multiple phone numbers for press interviews, calling contest winners, saying hi to sick fans in the hospital, or even ordering a pizza from Papa John’s if you so desire.

Fan Q&As

The easiest way for public figures to engage with fans and followers is through Q&As. Reddit AMAs have become hugely popular and more celebrities are starting to use Meerkat, but all of the platforms that enable this kind of engagement still require fans to be a member of whatever network they are using. With a Burner number, you’re able to use the one thing that everyone has, a phone number! Simply create a new number and post it to your sites and socials. Answer fan questions or calls that come in. Then burn the number when you’re done! PS you have the ability to turn off notifications in the app for calls/texts so the artist’s phone doesn’t explode when posting

I came across this use-case the other day and thought this was a pretty ingenious way of using the app. The CTO of Citrix, Gunnar Berger, was giving a presentation at conference and included a Burner number to field questions:

In October, Burner added support for MMS and you now have the option to create an MMS specific number. So far we’ve heard a lot of positive support for this feature from the Etsy community and other online stores. For Iration, MMS gave us the ability to run some flash fan engagement campaigns. While off tour Iration started recording their new album in Santa Barbara. Iration posted lyrics to an unreleased song they were working on in the studio and asked fans to send us pics of what the lyrics meant to them. It helped pass the time as they responded to fans and enjoyed learning what the fans thought of the lyrics.

DIGITAL MEETS PHYSICAL

Using Burner allows us to bridge a gap between the digital and real life. Iration doesn’t always hide behind the phone number. I’ve seen them use the app to find surfboards, a copy of Cabin Boy, want to know where to go for a local hike or play golf, or even local “greenery” because everyone knows you NEVER carry anything across any I-10 border checkpoints from Arizona to Texas (SERIOUSLY). In all instances, it’s a chance for the band to connect with local fans and hook them up with tickets.

Another fun way we like to use Burner reminds me of all the old rave days. Remember when you used to have to call a phone number to call another number to meet at a certain place/time to follow someone to that underground party? No? Well, it was a thing. In any event, sometimes we like to do similar promos using Burner. Since you can add custom voicemail greetings for every number, it’s very easy to create a new number in any tour market for fans to call in to find out what the “Burner mission” of the day is (should you choose to accept it). We’ve had fans meet us at a certain local landmark, bar, or restaurant to give away merch, autographs, or tickets. When the guys are on the East Coast and the waves are firing, they’ll tell fans to meet at a certain beach and bring boards for them. They once asked for a copy of Cabin Boy for the tour bus that only had a DVD player. A new favorite is doing flash ticket giveaways. We’ll post a Burner number with the stipulation that we will delete the post once someone has claimed the tickets.

 

 

SOURCING FAN CONTENT

This is one of the main reasons SocialSoundSystem started working with Burner. One of the first campaigns we developed with Burner allowed us to source fan content using voicemails. Burner helped us build a direct integration with Soundcloud. Fans could call into a special Burner number and leave a voicemail. We QA the calls and upload our favorites to our official Soundcloud account. In doing so we are able to learn more about our fans while rewarding them with some social currency considering our Soundcloud account alone has 100K followers.

Over the years we have received messages from sick fans telling us how our music is helping them. Sadly it’s occurring more and more frequently. Jorge Santana (from above) is an example one of these fans. He won a pair of tickets for the Fillmore San Francisco show and couldn’t make it because his doctors wouldn’t let him out of the hospital. He sent his kids instead and the lead singer, Micah, gave Jorge a call in the hospital telling him to fight the good fight. We’ve since stayed in touch and they’ve been out to a few shows. I met him in person last year at the Greek Theatre Berkeley where he and his wife told us backstage that he was 100% cancer free. It’s the little things like this where we can give back to our fans that really makes an impact on what we do. The smallest bit of effort on our part really can change a life

A more recent experiment we’ve been playing with is a Burner Message Board. We set up a basic site on subdomain Messages.IrationMusic.com and attached a Burner number. One of the band members recorded a voicemail inviting fans to text, send a pic, or leave a voicemail for them. Text and audio are transcribed and show up almost instantaneously on the page. Fans receive a notification if someone favorites or leaves a response. Everything occurs anonymously on all sides. The band loves how easy it is to use and fans love seeing their messages on one of our official sites.

 

CONCLUSION

For all the hoopla over the latest and greatest apps (we’re looking at you Meerkat), we truly believe that phone numbers will continue to play an important part of our personal and professional lives. They have the lowest barrier to entry, fans do not need to download anything, and 99.9% of the world knows how to make a phone call or send a text.  

This concludes our posts here on the Burner blog, but you can always keep up with new projects and new ways we’re using Burner by following us @socialsound1982 or @iration.

 

 

Burner is now available in Australia!

Create Your First Number

Get unlimited calls, texts, and pictures on a private line!
Pick your number now.

G'day G'day how ya goin' Burner! Today we have some big news for you!

We know the world revolves around communicating via SMS, and it’s hard when you’re living or traveling outside the US to stay in touch without incurring crazy long-distance charges. To help with this problem we’ve made Burner available, for the first time, outside the US and Canada. You can now download Burner in Australia and buy a US and Canadian number for texts and voicemail to text anyone in the US and Canada, long distance charge free!

Once you create your number you’ll have access to tons of great Burner features like reminders to stay organized and of course you can create as many numbers as you would like and burn your number any time to take it out service.

Why Burner?

There’s tons of other messaging apps out there that you can use to message with friends or family in the US, but they’re a hassle. Once you decide what service you want to use and create an account, you then have to get everyone you want to talk to to create an account as well. And then you have to find and connect with everyone -- search your address book, connect Facebook, sign in with Twitter -- just to send a simple message.

Burner makes messaging dead simple, with the one thing everyone has -- a phone number.

These are text-only numbers, so you won’t be able to make or receive calls, but if someone does call you they’ll be able to leave you a message that you can listen to in the app!

This is only the beginning and we know we have tons of Burner fans that want the app available in their country. Please feel free to reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or through support and let us know where you are and where we should expand to next. You can also stay up-to-date with all of our news by signing up for the newsletter.



MainStreet.com - Burner: When You Want to Keep Your Private Cellphone Number Truly Private

We have all been there. Maybe you are filling out an online form requesting price quotes from multiple car dealers. Perhaps you are selling your departed granny’s treasures on Craigslist. Or maybe you are signing up for a dating site and who knows about the people who may respond. All such moments involve a request for your phone number. What do you do? 
Read the full article at Mainstreet.com

Why Burner is the Perfect Utility for Social Media Managers, Part 1

Hola! Xavier here from SocialSoundSystem. We’re a boutique management, digital marketing and advertising agency based in Los Angeles. SocialSoundSystem got it’s start working with the band Iration, back when I lived with some of them while at UC Santa Barbara and Myspace was a thing.  Over the years we’ve worked with a number of touring artists including Slightly Stoopid, their management company Silverback Artist Management, and Ink-N-Iron Festival.

We love being the geeks of the music industry. We like to play with the newest apps and services, break them, help put them back together, and hopefully make them better.  This is exactly how we started working with Greg and the Burner team. What began as casual conversation and user feedback, gradually turned into us moonlighting in the mobile app world as brand liaison growth-hacker.

The latest technology and hottest new apps seem to change by the hour, all promising to be the next best thing in direct-to-fan relationships, but we’ve found that a simple phone call or text message still has the lowest barrier to entry and the highest value proposition for community management and fan engagement.

This post is Part One of how Burner has become an indispensable utility for our daily operations in the music industry.

 

BURNER FOR COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT

As a community manager, working with any size brand can be overwhelming and daunting. You are the representative of the brand across their respective channels and as your followers grow, at some point, you will not be able to hide behind an account name or handle. There’s no way around it: you’re going to have to talk to your fans or followers. This is where Burner’s value as a privacy layer becomes most apparent.

First things first: create a long term Burner number specific for that particular brand or client. I have one Burner for Iration that I have been extending for over a year. My marketing assistant has one as well. We only use these numbers for communicating with and providing support for Iration’s fans.

 

GIVE A FAN A LIFELINE

We’re constantly running online promos, contests, giveaways, etc. to generate larger outreach and promote shows/tours. Or maybe we read a funny or heartbreaking message and want to help out a fan with free passes.  We’ll confirm their names over email and add them to our guest list.

During the confirmation process we always provide our fans with our Burner number in case things go wrong. Sometimes the band forgets to add their name to our guest list. Sometimes we forget to submit their names to the official list. Whatever the reason, the last thing we want is to leave a fan standing out in the cold at the box office unable to get in. When you see a call come in on your Burner number at 11pm on a show night, PICK IT UP! Chances are it’s a fan with an issue that can be resolved with a quick text or call to the production team on the road.

“When you see a call come in on your Burner number at 11pm on a show night, PICK IT UP! “
 

 

THE VIP EXPERIENCE

Iration offers VIP packages for every show and tour. These usually include a private performance during soundcheck, a meet & greet, autographs, and some limited-edition merch items. For some fans, these VIP packages are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For the management team, it can be a logistical nightmare trying to coordinate when you get your VIP list 2-3 days before the show. If the fan doesn’t receive their details, you run the risk of losing a fan for life.

As the number of VIPs per show has increased over the years it has become harder and harder to communicate the information with them. Younger fans simply do not check their emails -- they aren’t chained to their inboxes yet. Good for them! Bad for the band and management dealing with crying, angry fans who feel they’ve been ripped off. We can’t afford to lose fans like that and have them taking their negativity to social media; especially today when all the band is on social media. Fans can message their grievances direct and it’s the last thing they want to see after stepping off stage. Enter Burner!

For the past year we’ve been using our Burner numbers to text all VIPs. We tell them that we’ve sent all the details for VIP to their emails and to respond with a confirmation. In the VIP emails we also include our Burner numbers in case they have any further questions or they need to change the name on our list. This has greatly improved our process and decreased the number of disgruntled fans. We’re actually receiving a lot of positive feedback from fans on our communication and organization.

 

STREET TEAMS

Finally,there’s the time old tradition of street teams. Over the years Slightly Stoopid has developed a large network of street teamers through extensive touring. Their team is managed in-house by their marketing coordinator Sarah Abdel. These teamers are the boots on the ground talking to people, putting up posters, handing out fliers, giving out stickers, hitting up lifestyle stores, anything and everything to promote for their favorite band. Naturally, this requires a lot of coordination on behalf of their marketing team.

This is where Sarah began running into issues. She would receive calls at all hours of the day/night working with fans across the country. They’d have questions on their orders, maybe need more materials, send in pics of them handing out promo, call begging for tickets, or maybe they just really, really wanted to hang out and be friends at shows.

Solution: Burner. Sarah started using the app to connect direct with her street teamers and centralize communication. This has enabled her to build relationships fans while keeping her privacy and personal life separate.

 

“Burner has been awesome for keeping me connected to all the ‘Stoopidheads’ without being too connected! I love the simplicity of the app, and that it also has a ton of useful features. The latest MMS integration allows teamers to send me photo updates of their promotional work. The Contacts list feature helps me remember who I’m talking to without having to save their information to my phone. And I love their new Reminders that can helps me to respond to someone later if now is not the best time. Thanks to the folks at Burner I have my own work line without having to get another phone.”

 

- Sarah Abdel

 

CONCLUSION

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how Burner has come to play an important role for community managers and our daily interactions with fans. We can now create multiple phone lines for different shows, tours, releases, promos, support -- the utility is endless. It’s really changed the way we connect with our fans and build relationships. In our next post, we will discuss how our artists are using Burner for direct-to-fan engagement and promo campaigns.

 

TheEveryGirl.com: A New App That Could Make Dating (and Life) Easier

With so many advances in dating sites and technology, isn't it time your phone number caught up with the times? We think so and it's one of our user's top use-cases ("Tinder" is common thread). The Everygirl agrees and thinks Burner can make dating (and life) easier.

Read the full article at TheEveryGirl.com