Burner Connections & Subscriptions Now Available On Android!

Burner Connections – which enables you to connect 3rd-party apps you love, like Dropbox, to your Burner numbers – has been very well received since we launched it on iOS just a couple of weeks ago. 

Burner users have been using Connections for all kinds of things, from promoting their music to running their startups.  We're very happy to be able to bring this to the Android platform, along with an update that includes a bunch of other improvements, including:

  • Premium lines – numbers you can subscribe to for unlimited calls/texts/pictures and automatic renewals
  • Caller blocking – block texts and calls by individual phone number
  • Android M (Marshmallow) support
  • Lots of enhancements and improvements

Subscriptions is something that many of our users have been asking for, and we're happy to oblige.  No longer will you have to remember to renew Burners, and as a bonus you get unlimited calls, texts, and pictures for one low price.

We think our new Android version looks fantastic – see the gallery below.  You can also check out our launch video and post for an overview of Connections.  

We hope you'll love it too and can't wait to what things you come up with in using Connections.

Download the latest version of Burner for Android here.

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.

 

More on Burner Connections:

 

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!

 

Burner Profiles: The Tie Haberdashery

This week we caught up with Samantha Gold of The Tie Haberdashery, a local business in Los Angeles that specializes in vintage ties from the 1920s to the 1990s.

Samantha started using Burner as a business line to help keep her personal information private and to be able to control the amount of access her clients and customers have to her. She has not just one, but two business lines for The Tie Haberdashery: one is a customer service line that she posts on the website and online store; the other she uses as her personal business line that she can put on business cards and share with her contacts. She has six burners total. Like most entrepreneurs, she’s always hustling so she also works as an inside sales rep and has burners for that, along with a  Craigslist Burner and one for dating.

Burner Hack

One of the issues Samantha ran into after she started using Burner, was that customers began texting her. Some business owners like texting with customers, others like Samantha don’t. If you’re like Samantha, there are a couple of easy ways that Burner can help!

On my business lines I wish I wasn’t able to get text messages...I don’t like getting text messages about business, I like getting phone calls and emails.

First, you can always turn off text notifications in the settings menu. Notification settings are unique to each Burner, so you can have text notifications turned off on your business Burner, but leave them on for your Craigslist Burner.

Second, with the newest iOS version you also have the option to set up an auto-reply message on each of your Burners. The auto-reply feature is super handy when you’re on vacation or during non-business hours when you’re not going to respond immediately, or in Samantha’s case, setting a message that lets her customers know that she doesn’t respond to texts and that they should give her a call instead.

Check out the video for the full interview to hear more about The Tie Haberdashery and how Burner can help you run your small business.


SMS apps, organized!

Recently there have been a number of services launched that primarily use an SMS interface.  I personally love checking these things out because they are typically easy to set up, and the text-only interface is very low overhead.  Product Hunt hosts a couple of decent collections of the more up-and-coming text-based apps.

I started using one of my Burner numbers to sign up for these services because I didn't really want to give my personal number out, but I found that by having my Burner linked, there was a cool side effect: all the new apps were put in one place, clearly separated from my increasingly messy Messages app.

Here are a couple of the services I've been using with my SMS Apps Burner:

Digit.  Digit is kinda this financial service thing that will automatically take money from a linked checking account and save it in a Digit account.  The idea here is to use a non-human thing (algorithm) to track how much you've been spending and earning, and dynamically transfer a sensible amount of cash into your human savings account so you can spend it later on something like a pair of skis, or your debilitating student loans.  Digit sends me a text message every day to my Burner number with my current checking balance and how much it's transferring to my savings.  Easy!  I can send the service commands like "Recent" to see recent transactions on my checking account, or "Withdraw" to transfer money back from my savings to checking.  Yes!

Sensay.  This is a new Los Angeles (!!!) based service that just recently launched.  It works a lot like the old Instant Messaging bot Aardvark.  In fact, it's exactly the same, but uses SMS instead of AOL or whatever.  I text Sensay with a question using my Burner, then the service sends the question out to another member of the Sensay community for a quick answer.  The answer comes back to Burner in a separate thread, so I can talk to the complete stranger on the other end with follow up questions or what they think of the Dodgers' pitching rotation.  That kind of thing.

GoButler.  Similar to Magic.  Much of the time I’m looking to buy craft beer, because I live in a hipster-friendly neighborhood of Los Angeles and I’m playing to type.  Even though I already know what the best beer store is (tie between Cap’n Cork Jr. Market and Bill’s), I wanted to test this service out by asking, via sms, what the best place to buy beer in LA was.  GoButler responded within a few seconds with a place called Remedy Liquor.  Being untrusting of Algorithms in general, I did some research into GoButler’s recommendation, and it seems totally wrong but hey, B+ for effort.  The GoButler bot Lisa seems like a nice person, but I’m happy to have the ability to sever ties completely if things start getting weird.

With so many texting-based apps out there, having the ability to partition these services in Burner is a pretty cool hack.  Most of the apps mask the phone number you are texting from, so from a privacy perspective, Burner isn’t the key value-add here (unless you believe these services are collecting the information, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt).  However, the ability to manage a Sensay thread outside of my messages app, for instance, is rad.  I’m increasingly wanting to keep my personal stuff in a tidy little place, protected from all the outside noise, and it’s a lot more fun to manage a conversation with a complete stranger in a separate place.  There’s also something cool about rolling these services up in one place and creating a little wrapper around each that makes them more compelling than they might be on their own.

 

Bringing SMS to a global audience is a challenging endeavor

As Burner becomes popular in the US, Canada and Australia, there's been a growing demand for our service in other countries. We get messages and requests from all over the world and we're excited by the interest from our international fans. If only we could just snap our fingers and be available worldwide, right? Providing SMS messaging services to new countries isn't easy, as this article by The Next Web explains:

The challenges of SMS on a global scale

New feature alert: Auto-reply to texts has arrived!

Over the last several months we’ve heard from more and more customers that you’re using Burner to manage your business communications. Burner is helping to keep your personal phone number private when dealing with vendors, clients and customers, and giving you more control of when they can contact you without affecting your personal calls and contacts. By keeping your business communications on Burner you can easily keep things organized and efficient and today we’re introducing a feature that will extend that usability.

Create Your First Number

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

We just released Burner 3.1.4 for iOS and it’s a good one. Among small improvements to performance, we’ve included a new feature that allows you to auto-reply to texts! This feature will automatically respond to any texts you get to your burner with a custom message. It’s an easy and convenient way to tell people that you’ve received their message.

 
burnerautoreply.jpg
 
 
burnerautoreply.jpg

Selling something on Craigslist and being inundated by responses? Let them know that the item’s still available and that you’ll get back to them. Going on a digital detox and shutting off your phone for a weekend? Automatically text them an out-of-office response. Fielding business inquiries 24/7 but business hours are more like 9/5? Text your customers back with your hours of operation.

We’ve got you covered.

Auto-reply is useful in a ton of situations, it’s super easy to set up and you can set a different auto-reply message for each of your burners. You can turn it on from the settings page of your Burner and edit your message.

You can set a different auto-reply for each burner you have. If you have a burner to sell things, you can create a professional response. If you have a burner for dating, you can craft a reply filled with smiles and emojis. The possibilities are endless.

A text message auto-reply is an answering machine for the modern era and it’ll do two things to improve your life: save you time *and* give your thumbs a break.

 



Burner 2.1.6 For Android

Burner 2.1.6 for Android is now available! This update includes of bunch of enhancements and one big feature that we’re really excited about -- support for Android Wear!

We want Burner to be easily accessible when you’re on the go, and fit seamlessly into your day. With this release we’ve made receiving your Burner messages and responding to them even easier, helping to make that customer contacting you even happier to know you just shipped their package or letting the date from Tinder you’re about to meet know that you’re on your way. And you can do all of it using voice commands directly from your smartwatch!


Are you an Android user? We have tons of new features coming out very soon and if you’d like to get on our beta list you can sign up here!





How much does your phone number reveal about you?

How many times did you give out your phone number today? Filling out a form online, signing up for a rewards program at the grocery store, texting someone about a couch for sale on Craigslist or setting up a coffee date with that guy or girl you met on Tinder all require your number. Do you know what happens to your number once you give it out?

While you might feel like your 10 digits are just another 10 of the millions of phone numbers out there, your phone number is a valuable piece of information that actually reveals an awful lot about you. Anyone can use your number to find out a wide range of personal information about you from your full name and educational or career history to your current home address, a list of your close friends, relatives and known associates, where you used to live and even pictures of you and your family. This kind of information is available online and is largely free, from a variety of different “people search” services to Google.

So how does it work?

Every time you use your phone number to sign up for a rewards program, on Facebook, to post on Craigslist or anywhere online and offline, you are leaving an online breadcrumb trail and building a digital footprint of data that is hard to erase. The more information we share, the easier it becomes to connect the dots across all of your data points. There are entire companies that specialize in buying access to consumer data from all kinds of places, ingesting and aggregating it all, and then reselling it to any person or company who wants to buy it.

Awareness is the first step 

The reality is that we’re going to continue to use phone numbers as a form of communication and identification in our everyday lives, but there are ways to increase our privacy and protect ourselves.

The answer isn't to stop signing up for rewards programs or buying things online. Rather, we must all become better stewards of our own data, and the first step of doing that is knowing what is out there already. We believe it’s important to raise awareness about this issue and that’s why we’ve built the Burner Challenge. By using the Burner Challenge to see just how much of your personal information is exposed when you give out your phone number, we hope to help you start conversations with your children, spouses and parents about good digital hygiene.

What can you do? 

1. Audit your social profiles

Go through your various social media accounts and check that all of your privacy settings are set up how you want them to be  -- make sure that the things you think are private, aren’t actually public. Are your full name, birthday, and phone number really all required or can you keep some of those details private?

2. Think before you give out your digits

Have you ever been asked for your number at a register in a store seemingly without a reason? Did you automatically give out your number to someone without thinking? We’ve all been there, and stopping for a second and asking why they need your number and how it will be used can save you a lot of headaches later on. There will be times where cashiers won’t have an answer for you, but you can politely decline to give your number to them. This applies to your zip code as well!

3. Use a second phone number

Its completely normal to have an extra email address or two -- the one we use on service forms that we know we never want to hear about again or to protect yourself from spam -- so why wouldn’t you have an extra phone number for the same thing? You can still sign up for grocery store rewards programs, post your number online when you need to, but keep your personal information separate and safe.  

4. Set up a Google alert for your name

This a great way to monitor the online content that is associated with your name via an online search. You can create an alert in seconds and just enter what you want your search to be (in this case, your name.) When you set up your alert you’ll be able to decide how often you want to receive notifications and the types of results you want to receive.

5. Be cautious of sites that offer a reward for giving them your information

Any time someone is giving away something in exchange for your information, there’s a very good chance that they are collecting your precious information for direct marketing use or worse. This usually means that they are making a lot more money from your information than the thing you’re getting for free is worth!

The good news is, you’ve probably already started taking some steps (i.e. creating multiple email addresses) to take control of your personally identifiable data and limit your personal info and data exposure and it is quite straightforward to build upon that; take the Burner Challenge today and take the next step towards protecting yourself and the people around you!

 

Missed connections: A modern love story

Around the Burner office there are two things that everyone knows -- that our coworker Ali loves soccer and Coachella more than the rest of us love just about anything (he may or may not have had to call pause on a meeting the morning this year’s lineup was announced.) A few weeks ago, during our internal team hack day, Ali’s knowledge of and love for Coachella and Burner teamed up with one of our awesome developers, Tommy, to bring (mostly) strangers back together after those sun soaked (and maybe a bit blurry) weekends in the desert.

Making connections

Ali’s inspiration for this product was drawn from the fact that every year, the hopeless romantics of Coachella take to Craigslist to find the girl you made out with on the main stage or the guy who gave you a lightshow.

But is that really the best haystack in which to look for that needle? Should you post on the missed connections section for Palm Springs or LA? Or maybe San Diego, because you remember that girl you met on Saturday night was from San Diego. Then once you figure out where you’re going to post (probably all three) you have to go through the tedious posting process with Craigslist.

Ali and Tommy wanted to help make finding those missed connections a little easier! The best part about using a Burner is that everyone has easy access to a phone and sending a text or leaving a voicemail is a lot easier than posting on Craigslist or a forum.

Once you send a text, picture or leave a voicemail you’ll get a confirmation that the message has been received and you’ll see it on the board immediately. The post is totally private (meaning your phone number won’t be shared), but if anyone likes or comments on it, you’ll get a text notification letting you know.


Try it out and let us know what you think! Don’t forget to thank Ali and please tell us your story on Facebook or Twitter if you find that special someone!

The Daily Dot: Burner is the secret weapon online daters have been waiting for

Great Burner piece on online dating in The Daily Dot today:

The problem is, most dating apps require users to connect with an active number. The idea is to connect with people, after all. While most offer a way to shield this information through privacy setting, plenty of users are capable of keeping a polite front up just long enough to get a person’s number before revealing that they’re truly terrible.

Bye Felipe... Hello Burner!
http://smarturl.it/BurnerDailyDot

Announcing Burner Cloud: ephemeral cloud storage

Over the last few years here at Burner we've used a lot of ephemeral apps, from Secret to Snapchat to Leo, and we think they all have one thing in common -- they’re all a little too permanent. We know just how much privacy concerned consumers care about having control over how long their information lives on the web and we’ve created the tool you need to have full control over your most valued digital possessions -- your files. So today we’re announcing Burner Cloud.

What is Burner Cloud?

It’s the only truly and fully ephemeral cloud storage solution on the web. We’ve found that the way to keep your important files private is to never make them accessible -- to anyone. By never having to worry about file organization and management, we can ensure that you have more time to focus on the things that really matter, like Meerkat and Periscope.

Why Burner Cloud?

Our research -- of which we have done a lot -- has found that time and value are inversely, exponentially proportional. The less time your files have the valuable they become. The best part? Burner Cloud is and will always be totally free -- and no, we’re not kidding -- for unlimited file uploads!

 

 

Start using at cloud.burnerapp.com now, with no sign up required!

Or click here to tweet Burner Cloud to your followers! (you’ll be able to edit before posting)

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.