Posting content to live events via SMS and voicemail has become an important feature for many of our clients. When they have reporters in the field, we can now send a text-message directly to their phone, and the reporter just has to text-message back their content. It works great, it’s fast, and it’s easy.
For our Canadian customers though, although we can provide Canadian voicemail numbers through any number of providers (the best out there are Twilio or Tropo), I found it very difficult to find any company offering Canadian numbers that can receive SMS. There are a few “gateway providers” out there, but their implementations require everything from running your own cell-modem, to spending hundreds per month.
After much searching, I found Club Texting. They are a U.S. company, but they have the shortcode 212121 in Canada. You buy a “keyword” from them starting at $25/month which your users must start their text-messages with. For example, if you bought the keyword “keebler” your users would text-message 212121 with “keebler This is the rest of my message.”
After they receive your text-message, they have a number of options to deal with it including emailing you, SMSing you, and (most importantly) hitting your servers via a RESTful API.
So far, their service has been working great. For the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto city-wide event next month, we’ll be powering live screens all over the city. People will be able to send in their comments via SMS, which we’re going to be displaying on screens all over the city (as well as web and mobile phones of course). It’s going to be great. I can’t wait to watch the flood of messages coming in from a few million people
(Photo from City of Toronto)