burner connections

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!

 

 

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.

Hello? It’s The Future – your phone numbers are here!

Introducing Burner Connections - connect your phone number to Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, SoundCloud, and more to follow.

Introducing Burner Connections - connect your phone number to Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, SoundCloud, and more to follow.

***UPDATE: Burner Connections is now available on Android!

We’re running our lives almost entirely through the phone these days.  SMS has become the new email, with more important communications than ever going through that inbox.  And we each have a constellation of software and apps we use in our everyday lives that you might call our “personal OS”. 

But phone numbers have remained static and one-dimensional. While our devices and operating systems keep getting smarter, carrier-issued phone numbers, with their basic calling and texting features unchanged in years, have failed to keep pace.

Today we’re introducing Burner Connections, an innovative new platform that enables phone numbers to be smarter, do more, and connect better to the rest of your stack.  This is a major step for us as we evolve from thinking about Burner numbers as a privacy tool to thinking of them as next-generation phone numbers that empower our users to take control of their identity, privacy, and productivity.  

Along with Connections come a number of other new features, including much-requested premium subscription lines.

Introducing Burner Connections

You’ve heard of apps for your phone… Burner Connections are like apps for your phone number. Connections let you link phone numbers to other applications you love, enabling them to do things they couldn’t do before, like sharing voicemails, automatically saving picture messages, letting your whole team answer text messages, or even creating your own SMS bot.

Here, watch an overview:

 

The four integrations we’re rolling out today are:

  • Slack, which allows you to set up a phone number whose incoming messages will be routed to any channel you want, and which anyone in the channel can reply to

  • Dropbox, which auto-archives voicemails and picture messages (both in- and out-bound) to your Dropbox

  • Evernote, which lets you use the Evernote notebook UI to set up your own SMS bot — each note’s title acts as a text command that returns the contents of the note

  • Soundcloud, which auto-posts voicemails to your Soundcloud account and is great for creative and content-generation use cases.

 

Let’s take a deeper look at Dropbox - a Connection with use cases ranging from personal to business. Once you log in and authorize your account, Burner automatically creates a folder in Dropbox that will save a copy of every voicemail and picture message you receive as long as the Connection on your Burner number is toggled to “ON.”  Archive those sweet happy birthday messages from your relatives, or share business-related pictures with a colleague… whatever your need, your phone number is no longer an island separate from the rest of your software.

Read more about our Dropbox Connection.

 

The Slack Connection is really cool - one that we see a huge amount of potential for in the workplace. When you connect Slack to your Burner number, all incoming texts and voicemails are routed to the designated Slack channel. And anyone in the channel can reply from within Slack.  It’s a great way to have an office or team phone number that multiple people can monitor, and a simple way to extend the team workflow to include text messages.

Read more about and test out our Slack Connection.

 

Evernote might be the most exciting of our Connections – it lets you build an SMS auto-response bot. Say you’re a musician, an Airbnb host, or a teacher, and people often text you with the same questions. When you connect your Burner number to Evernote using Connections and choose an Evernote notebook, Burner magically turns your number into a bot that anyone can text.  The title of each note acts as a command, and Burner will instantly reply to texts with the contents of the note.  You can even customize a welcome greeting for first-time visitors to your bot.

Read more about our Evernote Connection.

 

The Soundcloud Connection is still in the experimental stage and was built to show the power of social networks and SMS when combined. Once you setup the Connection, any voicemail you get on your Burner number will be automatically shipped over to your Soundcloud page and converted into an audio track on your profile. You can set these to be private or public by default. Check out how one band is using the Soundcloud Connection to power fan engagement here..

Read more about our Soundcloud Connection, try it out for yourself, and check out a case study.

 

Burner Premium lines

More and more members of the Burner community use their numbers for business and other important projects. So much so that longer-term, auto-renewing Burners have been one of our most-requested features. So we’re really happy to be releasing Burner Premium today as well.

Not only will your Burners auto-renew without your having to remember to buy credits and renew your line on an ongoing basis, but you’ll also get unlimited calls, texts, and picture messages for a great low price. Subscriptions will start at $4.99 a month and will be managed through iTunes in-app purchases.

Of course you can still buy and renew Burners in various a-la-carte configurations if you prefer to, and you can “burn” a Premium line any time just like any other Burner.

 

Search, Photos, and More

Got a conversation going with a colleague, but can’t remember whether an important piece of info is an email, Facebook, or Burner thread? Well now you can find it easily.

The newest version of Burner takes advantage of a great new capability introduced in iOS 9.  You’ll now be able to search your active Burner conversations from anywhere on your phone, by pulling down the Spotlight Search bar.

Finally, we’ve introduced new options for customization that let you upload your own background header photo to any Burner line. Alongside being able to customize the color, we think this is a really nice way to map your phone “identity” to whatever project you’re using it for, and to keep multiple Burner lines differentiated in ways that make sense to you.

Hello?  Is it me you're looking for?

Smarter phone numbers that are free and nearly free, that you can get on demand and that act like software, being programmable and connected to the rest of your stack. And you don’t have to go through a carrier to get them.  We’re pretty sure this is what the future of the phone network looks like .

We can’t wait for you to check out the new Burner and hear how you’re using Connections, and what improvements you'd like to see.  Please let us know in the comments, on Twitter via @Burner, or in the Burner team's text-enabled Slack channel at (323) 457-5241.

 

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