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22 March 2013

A fun little iOS bug to contend with

The persistent location icon...

If you're an iOS developer and have used location services in your app, there's no doubt you've come across this little devil of a bug.  Well... perhaps it's not really a bug, but the way the iOS operating system handles a user force closing the app-- and there's really no way around this one.  As a product manager, you need to be aware of this so that you can handle end-user feedback appropriately.

The problem is, if you're using background location monitoring (whether for Xtify location-triggered messaging or otherwise), the location arrow will appear in the device tray and under Settings > Privacy > Location Services all the time. The purple arrow under Location Services tells the end user that your app recently accessed his/her location. The end-user's perception is that when background location mode is active, your app is draining the battery. Frankly that's just not necessarily the case.

Apple's perception problem (which is also your problem) is not the only issue. If the user force closes the app, that icon WILL STILL appear and may further infuriate your end-user as they may believe your app is completely messing up his/her phone. Result? Uninstall and possibly poor app review.

So why is this happening? The purple icon may always be on if you enable background location monitoring or use the "startMonitoringForSignificantLocationChanges" for background location monitoring. The reason is because in order to actually stop the background location service (and remove the purple icon), your app needs to call "stopMonitoringForSignificantLocationChanges". That is impossible to do when a user force-quits in the current version of iOS. iOS "thinks" the service is still running and does not change the purple icon to grey even after a full device restart.

It's an important decision to make. For iOS, you can just offer location services while the app is in the foreground. In this scenario, the icon will only appear briefly when your app accesses the device's location, and the arrow will disappear when complete. However, you will lose significant location functionality if you don't enable location monitoring in the background. Then again, if you do enable background location monitoring, you'll have to contend with the scenario above.

The question for the product manager: is your app's usage of background location relevant enough to deter the unwarranted negative purple location arrow response?

30 November 2012

The American Express Open Forum features Xtify as a way for Retailers to Reach Mobile Customers

Great writeup in the American Express Open Forum about how local retailers can use push notifications and location-based targeting to their mobile applications to engage customers!

Happy to see Xtify featured in this fabulous collection of business resources.  

I've reposted the article for ease of access. 

Source: American Express Open Forum

How to Use Xtify to Reach Mobile Customers

By: Stephanie Miles

Creating a bare-bones smartphone app with static features, like store hours and location information, isn’t enough for local retailers hoping to compete with big box stores. With increased competition around every corner, small businesses have to expand the way they use mobile technology if they want to get noticed by consumers. Xtify is a platform that local retailers can use to add features like push notifications and location-based targeting to their existing mobile apps.

How It Works

Xtify works behind the scenes, giving local retailers and e-commerce businesses a way to utilize their mobile apps to drive in-store sales. Shoppers can continue to download and use their favorite store’s mobile application just as they always have. Once that store owner has integrated Xtify’s technology into his or her back-end system, however, shoppers will begin to receive push notifications either at specific times, or when that person is within a certain geographic target area (such as competing stores or nearby malls).
In most cases, retailers will use Xtify to send push notifications prior to upcoming events and sales. Retailers can push coupon codes to their customers’ mobile phones, which can then be redeemed in-store or when they make purchases online. (These push notifications pop up even when the store’s app is closed.) Shoppers may also receive push notifications in the minutes or hours after they download a store’s mobile application, providing them with detailed instructions on how to use the app or soliciting feedback on which features could be improved.

Xtify In Action

The push notifications, which merchants send out when they use Xtify, are much more targeted than most consumers probably realize. In addition to sending notifications to shoppers in the vicinity of their stores, merchants can target mobile users near their competitors’ establishments, as well as users who meet certain demographic criteria or participate in certain behaviors (like purchasing specific items or completing transactions online). For example, a national wholesale club uses Xtify to send relevant offers, like upcoming sales or exclusive deals based on membership, to members who have downloaded its mobile application.
Merchants who integrate Xtify into their CRM or point-of-sale systems can send personalized messages to customers who have recently purchased specific items or redeemed coupons online. They can also integrate Xtify into their fulfillment management systems as a way to send order confirmations and product shipping information directly to their customers’ mobile phones. 

Why It Works

By improving the relevancy of their marketing messages, merchants can increase the effectiveness of the offers they send out. Rather than sending a generic 10 percent-off coupon to every customer in his or her e-mail database, for example, a retailer using Xtify might only send that coupon to customers using their smartphones within 500-feet of a local shopping mall. By targeting customers who are out and about, merchants increase the odds that their coupons will be redeemed. Xtify also benefits retailers by encouraging loyalty, especially in cases where merchants elect to send exclusive offers only to those customers who belong to their membership programs or spend a certain amount in-store each month.

Maximizing the Benefits

The notification campaigns that retailers run with Xtify should continue to be refined over time. Businesses can determine the ROI and understand how mobile app usage is affecting their bottom lines by reviewing the analytics reports that Xtify provides. When they review open rates, action rates, and real-time install and uninstall data, merchants can directly see how the notifications they push out are influencing customer behavior.
Read more “How It Works.” 
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight. She is based in Portland, Ore.

You can find this article and others here: http://www.openforum.com/articles/using-xtify-to-send-targeted-push-notifications/

10 November 2012

Target push messages to a city by using reverse geocoded location tags

While most of our customers use our automated method for triggering push notifications based on real-time location updates, we have an alternate option that will let markets segment and target push notifications based on the last reported city. Both Android and iOS offer reverse geocoding capabilities, we can use these native methods to grab the city name (or other location data like country, region or postal code) and associate it with the user. With the city names associated with your users, you'll be able to plan a push campaign targeted to users by city name.

In the below example, the tag will be set as city:LOCALITY where LOCALITY is the locality name based on xAL such as:
  • city:New York
  • city:Mountain View
Once this is implemented, you can then target a push message to specific cities via our Push APIs (by setting "hasTags" : ["city:New York"]) or via our Console (via Push Point or Target). The method will create a local preference to hold the city name. If it detects a different city name, it will untag the old city and add a new tag for the updated city.

For developers, here are examples for implementing this method in Objective C for your iOS app and Java for your Android. These are just examples, please improve upon this (and let me know if you do).


Remember, locality is just one of the many values available using the reverse geocoding methods. You can set as many tags as you'd like to enhance your push targeting.


20 September 2012

What to expect when your users upgrade to iOS6

In case you're wondering, Xtify enabled apps will continue to work just fine after your end-users upgrade to iOS6.  After the device upgrades and power cycles, the device may not have the same push token assigned.  After the app is opened by the user, Xtify will automatically check to see if APNS has assigned the device a new token. If so, our service will be updated with the new push token and you'll be able to continue sending push notifications to your users.  There is essentially nothing for the developer or the marketer to do in this case, it is the nature of the upgrade.  This is a similar experience to previous iOS upgrades (i.e., iOS4 to iOS5).

If you're already using the XID, the XID will not change even if the APNS push token changes. However, this may be a good time to remind you that there are a few times when the assigned XID may change for your end-user... check this article to make sure your developer is handling these cases in your app.

11 September 2012

Xtify CEO Josh Rochlin to participate in panel at the Mobile Engagement in Retail Conference

Xtify, the leading mobile customer engagement platform, today announced that CEO Josh Rochlin will participate in a panel at M for Mobile's Mobile Engagement in Retail conference on September 13-14, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  The session is titled "Building mobile services that increase footfall to bricks and mortar stores." The panel will cover a number of relevant topics for retailers such as:
  • Analyze the power of proximity-based marketing tactics and the best way to combine location based advertising, geofences and SMS to lure people from the mall into the store;
  • Push messages and promotions to consumers based on their behavior within a specific area or geofence-whilst eliminating potentially costly privacy issues;
  • Explore the power of mobile coupons and rewards to drive traffic to retail outlets via location based offers and-in the future, NFC; and,
  • What retailers need now: Providing a simple, easy-to-understand solution that establishes a direct correlation between engagement and sales.
The panel will be moderated by Asif Khan, CEO of the Location Based Marketing Association and feature Tina Unterlaender, Director Mobile at AKQA; Todd Wilson, Business Integration Specialist at AT&T; and Josh Marti, CEO of Point Inside.  A full agenda for the event can be found here: http://www.mformobile.com/retailusa/conference-agenda.php.

There are a number of other interesting panels that conference attendees can choose from covering NFC, RFID, QR codes, couponing, mobile signage, and mobile data.  Other speakers include Tricia Nichols, Global Lead of Consumer Engagement, Media Innovation & Partnerships, at Gap Inc; Daniel Israel, Strategy Lead for Mobile and Multi-Channel at SapientNitro; Wayne Silverman, Chief Revenue Officer at ScanLife; Rachel Davis, Senior Manager - Digital Marketing Promotions at Office Depot; Vic Miles, Retail Technology Strategist at Microsoft; and Al Callier, Vice President, Strategic Innovation & Emerging Technology at Universal Orlando

08 August 2012

Xtify Unveils Targeting, Geo-fencing, and Analytics for Android’s New Google Cloud Messaging

Android developers use Xtify’s industry-leading push notification platform for message targeting and performance analytics

New York, NY - August 8, 2012 - Xtify, the leading provider of mobile engagement technology, today announced support for Google Cloud Messaging (GCM). The company also announced PhoneGap integration support for Xtify’s GCM framework.  Mobile application developers can learn more at http://bit.ly/XtifyGCM.

While GCM is a major advance over the existing Android push notification solution, Xtify’s award winning service is the first to include support for targeting, geo-fencing, and analytics. Xtify’s push notification platform is used by leading brands to message their mobile audience, influence customer intent, and drive purchase activity. Xtify’s technology allows marketers to leverage anonymous device-derived data – including real-time location updates, application usage behavior, user defined preferences – and CRM data, to send highly relevant and engaging marketing messages and service alerts. Xtify's messaging platform supports global application deployments for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Amazon Kindle Fire tablet and smartphone applications as well as apps developed with Adobe’s PhoneGap framework.

Google announced the arrival of GCM in late June 2012 at its annual Google I/O conference. GCM has been integrated with the Google API service, a consolidated high-performing platform offering developers a rich suite of Google functionality. GCM joins the ranks of other highly valued Google API products such as Maps, Analytics, Drive, and YouTube. Additionally, GCM provides Android developers and device users enhanced functionality including:

● Better battery life
● More efficient data usage and transfer
● New robust APIs
● Improved application performance
● An easier developer enrollment process
● Enhanced security features.

“As a company that relies, in part, on Google’s infrastructure to deliver highly targeted push notifications, our expectations are high for GCM,” said Michael Bordash, Xtify’s Chief Technical Officer. “As soon as Google announced the closure of C2DM and the introduction of GCM, our team jumped at the opportunity to provide the first enterprise-class GCM-based push campaign management & delivery platform. I’m happy to report that since its release, dozens of our early-adopter customers have successfully made the transition from Xtify C2DM to our new GCM platform. The tools and methods we provide allow for an easy user and segment migration experience.”

Location-triggered notifications sent using Xtify’s real-time location-triggering campaign management technology have demonstrated sustained action rates 3 times that of non-geo triggered messages. Xtify’s targeted notifications are visually rich messages sent directly to a consumer’s smartphone or tablet. They are based on rules that marketers define, such as time of day, user responsiveness, real-time location, customer segment, and other criteria that helps to ensure delivery of content when consumers are most likely to need and act on it.

Supporting Resources
Xtify Demonstration Videos 
Xtify Blog
Xtify Developer Portal

About Xtify

Xtify, Inc. is a provider of user engagement technology for mobile applications that helps brands and developers deliver highly targeted information to their mobile customers based on users' preferences, customer segments, behaviors, and real-time physical locations. Companies like Sephora, Thrillist, InterContinental Hotels Group, Ritz-Carlton, American Eagle Outfitters, PacSun, Sam’s Club, DailyCandy, and Playboy use Xtify to keep their apps top of mind. The Company is based in New York City and was founded by Silicon Alley serial entrepreneur Andrew Weinreich and Jeremy Levy. Xtify's platform works worldwide for native iOS, Android, and BlackBerry smartphone and tablet applications as well as apps developed with Adobe’s PhoneGap framework. Learn more at xtify.com. 

For more information or interview requests, please contact:
Dan Gesser
VP, Business Development
Xtify, Inc.
dgesser(at)xtify(dot)com
+1-646-395-1273

30 July 2012

Xtify Announces Release of Google Cloud Messaging SDK & Push Engine for Android

With the end of Google's C2DM experiment comes the launch of Google Cloud Messaging (GCM).  Our team spent the past few weeks re-building our Android SDK library and push engine to be compatible with GCM.  We're happy to report that developers may now begin the migration using our new SDK. Our GCM platform is production-ready and we welcome feedback from early adopters (email me: michael@xtify.com).

If you've already built an Android app using the Xtify C2DM-based SDK, we've made it easy for you by including embedded migration methods. We'll take care of moving tags for your users over to your new GCM appKey. If you're depending on our XID for direct messaging or segmentation, we've included a way for you to detect the old XID and new XID so you can update your user table.

You can download the SDK here:
http://developer.xtify.com/display/sdk/Download+the+Xtify+SDKs

Review the implementation Guide here:
http://developer.xtify.com/display/sdk/Xtify+Android+2.x+Implementation+Guide+GCM

Review the C2DM > GCM migration guide here:
http://developer.xtify.com/display/sdk/Migration+from+C2DM+Android+SDK+v2.0.x++To+GCM+Android+SDK+v2.1.x

For support, you can always reach us via our support request page:
http://developer.xtify.com/display/support/Get+Support


27 June 2012

Google Announces Cloud Messaging as Replacement for C2DM

During the Google I/O conference today at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Google announced the launch of Google Cloud Messaging (GCM). The new service, almost identical to their current push service, C2DM, promises a number of new enhancements benefiting mobile application developers and device users alike, including:
  • better battery life
  • more efficient data usage and transfer
  • new robust APIs
  • improved app performance
  • an easier developer enrollment process.
One stand-out feature that's interesting for us: GCM will allow developers to notify their apps that there is new data to be fetched from the server without actually downloading the data. Instead, the app (for example a messaging app) can tell a user that he/she has a new message, which the user can retrieve manually. This will reduce data transfers and battery drain while still leaving users’ app information up to date.

There were a number of other mobile app-related announcements including notification improvements (for example letting users open up a notification with a two-fingers swipe revealing a bigger view with more content) and Smart App Updates. Smart App Updates make it possible to download only what has changed in an app, rather than download the entire app again.  This will save time and also cut down on unnecessary data costs.

C2DM will be phased out and developers will need to migrate to GCM.  Xtify is currently testing the GCM service and will replace the current Android C2DM SDK with GCM support in the coming weeks. Xtify will send an email to its developer community when the GCM-enabled SDK is available for download.


About Google Cloud Messaging:
Google Cloud Messaging for Android (GCM) is a service that helps developers send data from servers to their Android applications on Android devices. This could be a lightweight message telling the Android application that there is new data to be fetched from the server (for instance, a movie uploaded by a friend), or it could be a message containing up to 4kb of payload data (so apps like instant messaging can consume the message directly). The GCM service handles all aspects of queueing of messages and delivery to the target Android application running on the target device.

12 June 2012

Xtify's First 1 Billion Location Update Month

We are delighted to report to worldwide mobile marketers that in May 2012, Xtify’s platform recorded over 1 billion monthly location updates.  Furthermore, location-triggered notifications are THREE TIMES more effective than typical push notifications.

Xtify’s technology allows marketers to leverage anonymous device derived data – including real-time location updates, application usage behavior, user defined preferences – and a brand’s own CRM data, to send highly relevant marketing messages and service alerts.  Location-triggered push notifications help you engage more of your users, on the devices they love, with the content they need, at the right time, in the places that matter. 

You can read the full PRWeb press release here: http://bit.ly/LrF8vj.

Xtify joins the ranks of many well-known and innovative multi-national companies that count items of relevance in billions of units:

  • Google was the worlds first internet company to reach over 1 billion users in a single month on its websites
  • The Coca-Cola Company serves happy patrons over 1.8 billion servings per day
  • Old Navy generated $5.7 billion of sales in fiscal 2011
  • Apple reported that over 25 billion apps have been downloaded from the iTunes Store to date
  • The newly merged United Airlines is the largest airline in the United States based on a combined 180 billion revenue passenger-miles flown in 2010
  • PREDICTION: Facebook will reach 1 billion members in August.

Suffice to say, there is magic in the word “billion.”

16 May 2012

How about some source code? Xtify Push + PhoneGap + jQuery + YouTube

We've seen a surge of developers that have recently hitched up to the PhoneGap bandwagon... and why not?  PhoneGap makes it super easy to build native-like mobile apps using html & JavaScript (and even our CEO knows JavaScript).  To answer the call, we recently released fully-supported PhoneGap plugins that enable Xtify push (iOS, Android) within PhoneGap apps.

In order to demonstrate the power of PhoneGap with Xtify Push, I created a simple iOS project with everything you need included (Xtify Push 2.x, PhoneGap Cordova 1.7, jQuery Mobile).  It also includes  a simple YouTube video feed parser and in-app video player to help make the whole app somewhat interesting.

You can pick up the complete project on our GitHub repo.

In order to get Xtify this working for your own project, you'll need to do a few things:
  • Create an account and Xtify AppKey by visiting http://console.xtify.com > App Manager
    • You'll also need to build this app with your own Apple provisioning profile and Push Certificiate via http://developer.apple.com
  • Enter your Xtify AppKey in XtifyLib > XtifyGlobal.h
  • Enter your own JSONC YouTube feed in www/js/main.js
  • It must be in the format: http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/users/USERNAME/uploads?v=2&alt=jsonc&max-results=25
    • Or feel free to hack away to use a feed format of your choice

Let me know how this works for you. If you'd like to contribute updates to this sample project, fork it on GitHub!

09 May 2012

How Aritzia Can Better Utilize In-Store Displays

Aritzia, a Canadian fashion boutique, just opened its flagship Manhattan store downstairs from the Xtify office. Although not as renowned as other larger international retailers, Aritzia has made itself a shopping destination in Soho, an iconic fashion center in New York City, through innovative marketing campaigns and word of mouth buzz.

The fashion boutique recently attracted the attention of shoppers and tourists with an intriguing window display: a quirky monitor shaped like a green, 1950s-era time machine showcases a photo-animation of a robotic hand dressing and undressing ice cream popsicles in different outfits. According to the local store manager, popsicles represent the coming summer, and, along with it, stylish and sexy options for women in the sun.




This showcase delivers a captivating experience for women looking to prepare for the summer months while simultaneously building brand awareness among all who pass by. I sent a few Facebook messages when I arrived at my desk that morning. By conveying the brand in the context of the upcoming season, Aritzia marketers are capturing the attention of end-users without a product offer, by displaying something out of the ordinary and thought provoking. But, consumers have to pass by the store and view the window to experience the showcase. Why limit the experience to people who happen to pass by coincidentally?

Imagine if a shopper in the vicinity of Soho with the Aritzia app on their iPhone or Android device were to receive an invitation to swing by the store to view the display window. No need to have the application open. No product purchase required.

Or, imagine if an Aritzia mobile application used a rich push notification to deliver a digital version of the showcase to consumers who will likely not see this installation in person. What if the rich push had an embedded video of the photo-animation? An amazing opportunity to bridge the physical, digital, and mobile mediums!

The Aritzia window showcase serves as an example of an opportunity to use the push notification channel to leverage in-store assets in a creative, mobile manner. With Xtify, Aritzia could send the geo-targeted and rich push notifications mentioned above to further build the engagement and buzz that has propelled the brand to date.

04 May 2012

Marketers Capitalize on Xtify's New Push Scheduling Feature


Xtify is most known for developing innovative tools to help enterprise marketers reach their audience via 1-1 (or narrowcast) push.  We are constantly challenged by our customers to bridge the gap between intelligent push marketing campaigns and automation based on consumer workflow.

Our most recent answer to this call is our new Push Notification Scheduler API.

Our Push Notification Scheduler API is a powerful automation tool that lets a marketer bridge an Xtify Target campaign (complete with rich content, location rules and demographic-tag matching) with an event captured at the transaction level (such as a content subscription or travel reservation).  Our solution makes it simple for marketers to control the presentation of a push message with a future effective date set by the customer's transaction.

Consider this user story: "As a mobile marketer at a hotel brand, I want to schedule the sending of a 'welcome' push notification to my customers upon arrival at (or as they approach) their destination hotel."

Xtify has taken this basic requirement several steps further. Our new feature provides the ability for marketing teams to setup rich content as well as setup location rules and tag rules to further qualify a push campaign and correlate with a future event date. For example, upon a customer's successful room booking, a reservation system will make an API call to Xtify to register the transaction and associate the event with a Target campaign.  

On check-in day, Xtify's system will match content, customer & campaign rules and push the relevant message to the customer's device.  Examples of rich HTML push campaign messages include: a welcome message from the Manager, special on-site offers and in-area partner messaging. You can also setup multiple campaign rules to segment push messaging based on loyalty-reward levels. Location rules can also be used to push messages as a customer approaches the destination. 

For content/subscription marketers, you can use this system to push a special welcome message upon delivery of a new customer's first item. For retailers, schedule a push to co-incide with a purchase arrival date and let your customer know their order is on their doorstep (via optional UPS/FEDEX/USPS lookup).

Like what you see? Schedule a demo with us today.

Xtify's mission to introduce enterprise-class, intelligent, push message automation rolls on.  Next quarter will see tremendous advancements on this front. Register now to introduce our value to your customers and prospects.

Michael Bordash
CTO, Xtify
michael@xtify.com

03 May 2012

Xtify CEO Josh Rochlin to moderate panel at CTIA’s Mobile Web & Apps World

Xtify, the leading mobile customer engagement platform, today announced that CEO Josh Rochlin will moderate a SuperSession discussion - Development, Marketing, and Monetization of Mobile Websites and Apps at CTIA's Mobile Web & Apps World.  The panel will cover how to utilize effective strategies to create and leverage the mobile channel to increase revenue. Experts will discuss best practices for efficiently executing mobile marketing campaigns by minimizing costly mistakes and leveraging social networks and mobile social connectivity for maximal benefit.

The panel will feature Ted Verani, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at Trilibis; Dan Lowden, Vice President of Marketing at Digby; Gary Yentin, CEO at App-Promo; and Derek Ting, CEO at Enflick.  A full agenda for the event can be found here: http://www.mobilewebandappsworld.com/index.php/agenda.

Mobile Web & Apps World is America’s longest running mobile web and applications event where experts gather from all over the world to discuss the rapidly evolving mobile web and application industry.  This unique convention of technology pioneers, business experts and marketing specialists provides an invaluable opportunity for businesses, small and large, to gain insight into the ever-changing mobile commerce arena.  Speakers include David Butler, Product Manager at MasterCard Worldwide; Steve Bagdasarian, Director of Business Development at Fiksu, Calvin Carter, President at Bottle Rocket Apps; and Scott Kveton, CEO at Urban Airship.  Further information can be found here:  http://mobilewebandappsworld.com.

01 May 2012

Xtify CEO Josh Rochlin to Chair CTIA's 3rd Annual The Future of Tablets Event

Xtify, the leading mobile customer engagement platform, today announced that CEO Josh Rochlin will chair the CTIA’s 3rd Annual “The Future of Tablets” event and also moderate a SuperPanel discussion - Tablets Media and Entertainment. The panel will cover how tablets are dramatically changing the media and entertainment landscape and discuss monetization strategies, enhancing the consumer experience, and future services.

Rochlin will moderate a discussion featuring Kevin Brennan, Director of Product Marketing at Dolby; Joe Lalley, Vice President for Global Digital Media at MTV Networks; John Gilles, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Coincident; Roberto Gluck, Co-Founder and CEO at The Social Radio; and Joe Johnston, Senior UX Specialist at Universal Mind. A full agenda for The Future of Tablets can be found here: http://www.tabletsevent.com/agenda.html.

The Future of Tablets is an exclusive conference where executives from top brands and technology providers convene to discuss the growth opportunities made by possible by tablets. This unique gathering of thought leaders and innovators is structured to provide attendees with the ideal mix of high-level sessions and networking functions. The event will be held May 8th, 2012 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Further information can be found here: http://tabletsevent.com.

27 April 2012

I can see the space shuttle from my office

A great treat today for the Xtify team this morning.....we got to see the Space shuttle Enterprise from our roof in New York City!  Another intangible benefit of being part of the innovative, rich, and growing Silicon Alley community.


The shuttle is going to be displayed in Manhattan at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and was on its' way to JFK airport.

17 April 2012

Mobile Social Videosharing App Looplr Uses Xtify to Engage Customers

Looplr is a real-time video sharing app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices (THINK Instagram but for videos). The application is free and in use by hundreds of thousands of users around the globe. The app allows users to shoot, store, watch, and share videos with other members of the growing Looplr community. In addition to enabling users to browse through uploaded videos to see what other users are up to and where in the world they are filming from, Looplr makes it easy to share videos with Facebook and Twitter. The company partners with Xtify to engage its’ user base via push notifications and keep the app top-of-mind.

I had a chance to speak with David Chorlton, Looplr’s CEO. He had the following comment, “As a startup we find Xtify to be an amazing tool to enable real-time notifications to our users to advise them of bug fixes, new features, new app versions, or just to say Hi as a reminder our app is there. Xtify solves real problems that face a mobile startup and push notifications are one of those, so rather than deploy precious resources on integrating ourselves with Android and iOS push platforms we simply integrated Xtify SDK’s instead and we were up and running in a day. When we send a push we see an immediate response, and that rocks! As a social video sharing app, communication with our users is critical and Xtify allowed us to do this with minimal development effort and expense. I highly recommended Xtify to other companies!”

As the app continues to be refined (stay-tuned for additional community and social features) the future uses of Xtify's push notification service will expand and prove to be an integral communication medium between Looplr and its’ community of users.



The app is currently live in the Android market (Google play) and in iTunes.

For Android devices, click here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.looplr.

For iOS devices, click here:
http://itunes.apple.com/app/looplr-video-social/id478017685?mt=8
.

02 April 2012

PHP Push Notification Script Added to Xtify GitHub

For all of my fellow PHP lovers, we have a new PHP script/class available for your enjoyment.  The script interfaces with our Push 2.0 API and easily lets you send pushes to your Xtify-enabled apps from your PHP server.   Here's a snippet from the README:

The script instantiates a PHP class matching the Xtify 2.x API (http://developer.xtify.com/display/APIs/Push+API+2.0).
The sendMessage() method JSON-serializes this class (getAsJSON()) and uses CURL to post the JSON string to the Xtify 2.x API. The script requires PHP version >= 5.2

The current version of this script is set to use action->type=DEFAULT and no rich content but you can always set more advanced options after the class is instantiated by referencing properties the PHP object or by changing the default settings of the properties.

The script was created by an external Xtify contributor, Anders RetterÃ¥s from Norway (MANY THANKS!!) and is available on our GitHub repo XtifyTools

.NET is next... any friends want to contribute? Let me know.

30 March 2012

Xtify says "Good Bye" to UDID

Xtify has released iOS SDK version 2.0.6.  This is a maintenance release for the 2.x series iOS SDK. The following changes were introduced:

  • Removed use of UDID within the iOS registration process
  • Addressed some memory leaks
  • Altered back-button on rich message viewer to call pending messages when heading back to the rich inbox
There has been much attention to mobile apps usage of UDID. While Xtify never used the UDID in this fashion, we are rolling with the trend and have stopped using UDID in its SDK.

We recommend all Xtify customers upgrade to this version prior to submitting their apps to iTunes Connect.

26 March 2012

Apple Rejecting Apps that Access UDID

The UDID (Unique Device Identifier) is used by many applications to establish a unique ID for your mobile user on iOS.  Some apps, like Ad Networks, will persist the UDID to track app usage across all the apps on your phone. Given recent Federal attention regarding privacy concerns, Apple is accelerating their plans to kill off the use of UDID in apps. While Xtify never used the UDID in this fashion, we are complying with this mandate and will issue a patch this week that replaces our non-essential use of UDID.  We will post again when it is available and send out a newsletter to our opt-in subscribers.

For more information, TechCrunch posted a great article that discusses UDID.

Michael Bordash
CTO, Xtify

18 March 2012

Throttling limits on Xtify free service

Given massive adoption of Xtify's free and paid push services, we've had to set some limits on our free push API endpoints.  Turns out a lot of you are spinning up way too many simultaneous threads and swamping our free service with bulk pushes.  As a result you may see transient 503 errors returned if you try to send massive pushes out in a short amount of time.

I invite you to upgrade to our paid service (starting at $199/month) or upgrade to our 2.x SDK/API version suite which has a "send to all" option.

Until later,

Michael Bordash
CTO

15 March 2012

Welcome to Xtify 2.0

Xtify 2.0 represents the latest in a series of important feature and service enhancements. A special thank you to our Client Advisory Board for their feature recommendations and for their participation in our Beta Program.  Now, on to the good stuff….

Our 2.x series of SDKs & APIs vastly improves security, performance, and features. Here are a handful of the most important features included in this release (jump down for links to the technical details and upgrade guide):

PhoneGap Plugin
Xtify PhoneGap Phase 2 allows developers to take advantage of the Adobe PhoneGap HTML5/JavaScript development platform combined with Xtify's push notification / mobile CRM services.

Supported features include: 
  • Pushing simple notifications to all users via our 2.0 APIs and Console with optional advanced rules such as geo-fencing, tags and schedules
  • Pushing custom data for deep linking into your PhoneGap app or for performing custom actions
  • Retrieve user data from your PhoneGap app such as custom data sent with a push, Xtify user ID (XID) and last known location
  • Both the iOS and Android PhoneGap SDK plugins include sample code to help realize your product vision
Tagging
We have now exposed support for developer-generated tagging for audience segmentation within your Xtify TARGET and API-based campaigns. This is a powerful feature that allows you to include/exclude groups of users when scheduling or sending push notifications. With our tag API, you can programmatically group your users (i.e. XIDs) by a tag and can then target these groups via Xtify TARGET and via our Push API 2.0

We've included code for a sample preference center that you can include in your Android and iOS apps. This will let your end-users tag themselves (for example: "I'm interested in receiving pushes about Computers, Shoes and Games"). The user-tag association is available for immediate segmentation in our Xtify TARGET console as well as the new Push API.

Numerous console features & improvements:
  • Fresh new skin! Easier on the eyes ….
  • Tag rule in Target: Drop a Tag (inclusion/exclusion) rule in your Xtify TARGET campaign to segment your push audience. The interface displays how large your current audience population is for the tag combination selected in the UI.
  • Inbox-only push (no alert!): There might be times when you want to drop a rich notification into your Xtify Rich Notification Inbox without an intrusive push (such as a purchase receipt). You can do that within the Xtify TARGET console. Just tick the Inbox-only box.
  • Message Expiration: You can set an expiry date/time in your Xtify TARGET notifications... especially useful for content with a shelf-life (like coupons, special deals). Our SDK includes instruction on how to set custom content if your user happens to click on an expired message.
  • Templates: You can create templates and associate them with your Xtify TARGET campaigns. This is a great feature  to quickly re-use content, settings and formatting from previous campaigns. You can swap in text, images, or whatever else you want.
  • WYSIWYG editor for rich push notifications: You can create content in HTML yourself or use the editor. One other important use of this feature is the ability to access images and content hosted in the cloud or on your server.
  • Rich message preview for Android C2DM & iOS messages created in Xtify TARGET
  • Default time zone for your apps: Some devices may not set a time-zone offset properly upon Xtify registration.  This feature will let you control in what time-zone these devices should receive your push notifications.
  • International character support: Send push notifications in the languages of your choosing (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, etc).
Simple pricing structure launched:
  • Free - send up to 1,000,000 notifications/month 
  • Just Push ($199/month) - send unlimited messages to up to 30,000 devices
  • Engage & Retain - starting at $1,000/month
  • CRM & Target - starting at $2,500/month
  • Review our new pricing structure
Introducing the XID (our new unique user key)
The XID replaces device tokens on 2.0. Upon registration, your mobile user is designated with a unique XID generated by Xtify which will be used henceforth for statistics and sending messages. The XID represents significant performance and scalability improvements within our back end systems. The XID also allows for a more stable means for developers to integrate their existing marketing segmentation data systems with Xtify. For example, if you want to send a message to a particular user, you would persist the XID in your user database upon Xtify registration, and then send the XID instead of the device token for pushing out to individual users. Our internal system will receive the XID, match this with the user's device token in our internal system and send the message on your behalf. In the event that Apple and Google C2DM make changes to their push registration system, you won't have to change a thing as XID management remains constant. Xtify will take care of getting the message to your end user.

For developers
Here are links to important information regarding our 2.x series platform, including sample code and guides:
What's next on our roadmap? An enhanced push console, enhanced analytics, 2.0 support for Notification Configuration API, Windows Phone SDK... and a host of enhancements yet to be announced.

Thanks for using our service! Please keep sending us your feedback.

Michael Bordash, CTO
michael@xtify.com

06 October 2011

Steve Jobs

I have nothing original to say, but something needs to be said.

We are all so much more today because of who Steve Jobs was and what he created.

I am not just thinking about the great technology he created.

Mostly I am thinking about the possibilities he inspired. The possibilities that nothing need be permanent; that excellence could inspire change; and the possibility that passion and brilliance could trump complacency and inertia.

Steve was at once the ultimate disrupter and quintessential creator.

I hope that each of us will grow from his memory and one day be worthy of similar praise.

Josh Rochlin
Chief Executive Officer
Xtify

26 September 2011

Xtify Appoints Michael Bordash as Chief Technology Officer

By Dan Gesser

We are excited to announce the arrival of our new CTO, Michael Bordash! Prior to joining Xtify, Michael was Vice President of Software Development at Experian where he directed all application development, architecture and software quality assurance for Experian CheetahMail. CheetahMail clients include Starbucks, Estee Lauder, Visa, Wyndham Hotels, and Barnes & Noble.

Michael will be responsible for technology, engineering and operations for Xtify’s mobile engagement and geo-push notification platform.

You can read the full press release here: http://bit.ly/q7jG6B.

Welcome to the team, Michael!

14 September 2011

7 Thoughts For Your 2012 Mobile App Strategy

By Josh Schiffman

1. Speak to your users as if they are your customers. Because they are. Your “users” are customers that just told you loud and clear that they care about your brand or service, what your have to say, and what your app has to offer. Fulfill their expectations and engage them.

2. Keep your messages relevant. Just because your customer has your app on their fancy smartphone and has opted-in doesn’t mean that you can send them just any message. If I’m a 29 year-old woman, do I want to know about new men’s chino styles? No.

3. Android is for real. It is. We’re serious. Hundreds of millions of consumers have Android. It’s time to invest.

4. Retain your users. How much did you spend to create your app? How much more did you spend to drive downloads? And, how much time and energy are you expending to maintain that app? Get the most from your investment by keeping your app utilized and your brand top-of-mind.

5. Reward. You know that I’m a good customer, shower me with love. Give me incentive to tell my friends about your great app. Give me reason to stop into your store. Give me reason to open your app.

6. Measure. Who says mobile is the “wild west”? That’s ridiculous. You can learn more about your customer when they are mobile then you can when they visit your website. Know when, where, and what communications with your customers are most effective.

7. Tablets are the new black. Everyone is going to have one. And, they are going to spend money on your brand using one. Make it easy for them and create an irresistible experience for your customer.


How Can Xtify Help?

1. Great delivery. Send rich and engaging content to your mobile customers via push notifications, without email or SMS. Xtify provides rich-HTML push notifications with customizable actions along with a notification inbox to ensure that your messages get read.

2. High relevance. Reach your audience with the right message, at the right place, at the right time with trigger-based messages including user location – even when the app is closed! Xtify provides web-based tools and API’s to create and configure both simple and robust communication campaigns.

3. Perfect information. Nothing is perfect, but Xtify provides actionable data about how your mobile customer communications are resonating. Get Xtify analytics about how your notifications perform. You can even send messages based on specific events and behaviors.

4. Cross-platform. iOS + Android + BlackBerry. Yes.

5. Expertise and support. Our team will help you create the best relationship with your customers using the mobile channel.

17 July 2011

Location-Based Coupons Delivered By Xtify Push Notifications

By Dan Gesser

The daily deal and couponing space is at the forefront of seemingly every marketing conversation these days. It’s a HOT topic given the success of Groupon, Living Social and others. I’m happy to share details about VoucherMob, a company based in New Zealand, which uses Xtify to deliver location-targeted mobile coupons.

Available on iOS and the Android platform, VoucherMob allows shoppers to select the retailers they’d like to receive coupons from. These “big name” retailers include McDonald’s, Dick Smith and Liquor King. Based on the retailers chosen by the shopper, VoucherMob sends notifications with the latest deal for that location when the shopper is in proximity to one of the retailer’s locations. Delivery of highly relevant and targeted offers direct to a shoppers phone increases foot traffic, coupon use and overall positive association with the brand.

While having “big name” retailers sets VoucherMob apart from its less sophisticated website counterparts, geo-triggered notifications allow a level of direct marketing not accessible by any other means. “We see our role as providing the technology to enable a closer relationship between the retailer and consumer,” explains VoucherMob head Scott Bradley.

VoucherMob’s use of Xtify’s geo-location push notifications also allows the company to provide meaningful analytics to retailers. By pushing real-time offers straight to mobile devices, VoucherMob can track sales conversions, close the loop and gain excellent market intelligence about consumer behavior in the marketplace. “It’s a great way for shoppers to save money and a fantastic sales tool for retailers- a really powerful call to action that is cost effective to run, generating virtually instant sales and a tangible way to track the effectiveness of digital marketing” explains VoucherMob head Scott Bradley.

In addition to gaining favorable customer and industry feedback, VoucherMob recently won the Ministry of Science & Innovation Best Hi-Tech Start-up category at the Hi-Tech Awards in Wellington, NZ. Hoping to hear much more about this great, innovative company!

You can download the VoucherMob iOS application here:

http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/vouchermob/id394489809?mt=8.

You can download the VoucherMob Android application here:

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.vouchermob&feature=search_result.

15 June 2011

iOS 5 Makes Using Xtify for Push Notifications Even Better

By Dan Gesser

Last week’s WWDC marked the public unveiling of Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 5. The Xtify team is incredibly excited about the many new features and usability enhancements slated for this upcoming release. In particular, the Notification Center functionality offers several welcome features that will prevent incoming push notifications from being obtrusive (causing users to clear the notifications as a means of quickly returning to what they were doing before the notification appeared) and help consumers seamlessly interact with unread push notifications (increasing likelihood that notifications will be mindfully reviewed at a later date). Xtify’s push notification technology will become even more effective in helping application publishers engage their mobile users with targeted push notifications based on pre-configured schedules, locations and preferences.

The new Notification Center functionality offers the following improvements to existing push notification handling on the iOS platform:

o Notifications will no longer interrupt the user’s device usage when they are delivered (no more annoying popup that pulls the user away from what they were doing before the push notification appeared)
o All push notifications will be delivered directly to a single place, the Notification Center (similar to the Notification Tray already in place on the Android platform)
o Notice of a new push notification will be conveyed by an icon at the top of the screen
o The Notification Center will also list unread emails and SMS messages (great for users who interact with many apps and other people)
o The Notification Center can be accessed at any time by swiping down from the status bar at the top of the screen
o Notifications will appear on the locked screen (along with stock and weather alerts) in order to allow for quick and easy viewing when the user is ready
o When a notification appears in the locked screen, swiping the notification will automatically open the related app

The release of iOS 5 undoubtedly gives application publishers betters tools to create new and even more exciting apps for their customers. Similarly, application publishers utilizing Xtify’s push notification technology will be able to build great relationships with their mobile customers by providing relevant notifications that can be easily managed in the moment or at a later time.

If you'd like to Download the iOS 5 SDK beta, click here: http://developer.apple.com/technologies/ios5/.

If you’d like to watch the relevant portion of the presentation from the WWDC 2011 Keynote, click here: http://bit.ly/k1psNf and move to 42:55. Happy Viewing!

05 June 2011

PacSun Launches iPhone App with Xtify Push Notifications

By Dan Gesser

Recently, Pacific Sunwear of California, known by many as PacSun, released its premiere iPhone application featuring Xtify push notifications! The PacSun application does more than merely function as a digital magazine for shoppers. This app uses Xtify push notifications and other new technologies to engage customers, retain users, and create a truly unique mobile commerce experience. You can download the app here.

One premiere feature of the application, which sets it apart from a traditional magazine, is the PacSun outfit builder. Users can take clothing and accessories from the new line - currently featuring swimwear and beach apparel - and create head-to-toe outfits at the tip of their fingers. PacSun worked with Usablenet to create this integral part of their new application. PacSun senior online operations manager Tim Katz notes that, “It makes sense with our demographic, the 18-24 space. And it adds an increased level of interactivity and excitement around the swim season.”

Additionally, Xtify’s location-based push notifications are an essential part of PacSun’s new mobile strategy. PacSun plans to leverage user location to send targeted push notifications featuring special discounts and promotions when users are within a certain radius of specific PacSun locations. These notifications transcend typical paper cutouts, as location-based coupons serve to drive users into stores to redeem offers even if the user doesn’t know they are currently near a PacSun location! Katz remarks that “Xtify does the specific geofencing and geotargeting; we have all of our store locations and coordinates within the app, and using the GPS we can detect and push you notification when you’re near a store. We can offer a percent off or a music video; the possibilities are really endless.”

PacSun’s recognizable brand and vision combined with Usablenet’s app-making expertise and Xtify’s push notification platform ensure an all-around remarkable and unique user experience. The mobile ecosystem is changing, and here at Xtify we are certainly enjoying the ride!

10 May 2011

Xtify Xoom Giveaway Winner Announced!

by Dan Gesser

Congratulations to Rohi Zacharia, the winner of Xtify’s Motorola Xoom giveaway contest! Rohi’s use of Xtify’s free push notification platform for his Android app, TDU 2 Stats, is an incredibly interesting example of how developers can use Xtify’s services to meet the specific needs of their applications - Rohi’s app is a social tool for players of an XBOX game, not a mobile game.

Rohi describes TDU 2 Stats as a social media platform for players of the popular XBOX game “Test Drive Unlimited 2.” Initially, Rohi’s TDU 2 Stats app was designed to supply game maps for the driving courses in the game (modeled after Hawaiian island Oahu and Spanish island Ibiza) and to offer insights into the different cars that players can race in the game. Aware of the growing community of game players, Rohi wanted to connect players via mobile device. Enter Xtify.

Rohi realized that he could use Xtify’s push notifications to connect members of the community playing the game in real time. He describes his solution as a “twitter-like” application, where drivers discover and find other drivers they want to follow, and get notified via push notification when those players come online to play. Followers can jump onto their XBOX’s together when they know that a specific driver they want to play against is online. Additionally, Rohi uses Xtify push notifications to alert app users when players send direct messages to one another, strengthening an existing community. Upon implementing Xtify in his application, Rohi received enthusiastic feedback from his application users - TDU 2 Stats app users continue to love being instantly notified when other players come online and alerts about messages waiting to be read in the app.

“One of the things I really liked about Xtify,” Rohi said, “was that it is straight-forward, there’s lots of support, and it was up-and-running pretty quick.” For Rohi, the decision to integrate Xtify was rooted in the platform’s ability to enable push notifications “without having to manage a lot of the messaging system.” Once Rohi made the decision to integrate Xtify, all he needed to focus on was where and how to best use push notifications to support his app users.

Looking to the future, Rohi plans to develop many more applications for Android with Xtify integrations. He plans to implement Xtify’s location triggered push notifications into some of his up-and-coming applications, and will continue to add new features for his TDU 2 users. Be sure to check out Rohi’s applications in the Android market at https://market.android.com/developer?pub=GoRohi, which, thanks to Xtify, he can now test using a new Motorola Xoom tablet!

21 April 2011

New Xtify Products and Enhancements

by Josh Rochlin

April has been a great month at Xtify - we've just launched a new service, RETAIN, enhanced our existing service offerings, PUSH and TARGET, enhanced our notification delivery capabilities for iOS, with Rich Push and Notification Inbox, and improved our developer tools and documentation. And, we've MADE PUSH NOTIFICATIONS FREE!

Let's discuss these one by one -

1. Xtify RETAIN - The mobile industry’s FIRST application user retention tool. Developers can use this service to keep users engaged with their applications by messaging users with highly relevant content at pre-configured times (i.e. days since app was installed or days since app was used). Set it and forget it! Xtify RETAIN is available for free to our registered developer community at www.console.xtify.com.

2. Xtify PUSH - A cross-smartphone push notifications service that provides application developers with robust (rich HTML) push notifications, that include customizable calls-to-action and awesome analytics. Xtify PUSH is a free service if you are sending fewer than 300 messages per user per month.

3. Xtify TARGET - Enables delivery of “smart notifications” to mobile customers. Smart notifications can be delivered based on user preferences, user behaviors and even user location. Xtify is the only provider of location-triggered notifications that work even when the application is closed.

4. New API - The Xtify Notification Configuration API provides the ability to create, modify and activate/deactivate notification configurations via a web service, instead of by using the Xtify Console. The API can also be used cross-platform. You can learn more here.

5. Improved developer resources - We wanted to give app developers additional ways to learn about implementing, using and managing Xtify's rich services. To this end, we've deployed the following NEW resources:
  • New Support site - You can search our knowledge base articles, browse public discussions, or create a new discussion if you’re having trouble.
  • If you take the time to create an account, you’ll be able to post private discussions (that only you and our support team can see) and track your existing discussions. However, if you don’t want to create an account, you can still create a public discussion in our discussion area.
  • How to videos - Watch Erica Fox, Xtify's Head of Developer Relations, guide you through the notification configuration process. We'll be adding additional videos over the coming weeks.
  • Improved Live Chat with additional support hours.
  • Additional sample code and applications.

We've also placed all of our documentation, code and sample applications in front of the developer registration process - You need not Register with Xtify to review our materials. Our implementation overview can be found here.

You can also always email us directly at support@xtify.com.

Keep checking this blog for interesting thought pieces and upcoming posts about Xtify's evolving products and usage.

Xtify Introduces RETAIN

By Andrew Weinreich

Xtify released a tool today designed to reclaim users from a mobile app’s dead pool.

If you’re running a business through a mobile application on the iPhone or Android you’re probably already paying for downloads.  Millennial or Admob will sell you run of network advertisements where instead of paying per click or impression – you literally pay per download.  They’ll tell you the cost of a download is somewhere between $1 and $2, but the figure can be really misleading. 


Xtify RETAIN Console
If you have a registration process after download, you might see drop-off in excess of 50%. And then there’s what happens after your users download your app.  Localytics just came out with a study saying that 76% of people that install an application use it once and then never touch it again.   When you combine the drop-off with the churn, your real cost for a user you buy at a $1 download is probably upwards of $8 ($1 times 2 divided by .25).

If you want more users on a fixed budget, your options today are pretty limited.  You can buy incentivized downloads for $.15 to $.35, but those users are likely to churn out an even higher rate than users who download your application because they’re generally interested in what you do.


Example Retention
Message
The real way to drive down the cost of acquisition is to keep a higher proportion of the users you acquire from churning out.  Put differently – you should fish out of the dead pool of users that aren’t coming back.  If you can reclaim some subset of these numbers, you’re effective cost of acquisition goes down.

Xtify’s new RETAIN product allows developers to accomplish just this.  By embedding the Xtify SDK in an Android or iPhone application, a developer can set a business rule which specifies that if a certain number of days elapse without a user opening up an application, a push notification is sent to that user asking them to come back.    In a subsequent version, developers will be able to A:B test sending a “come back” message on the 6th day as opposed to the 5th day for example, and whether a message with two lines of copy is more effective than a message with only one short sentence.

This is Xtify’s first foray in to the well-known practice of lifecycle marketing, whereby each user has a natural lifecycle of use and disuse and messages are triggered to the user based on where they are in the evolution of that usage.

01 March 2011

The Place of Place in Xtify Smart Notifications

by Dan Gesser

Location, Location, Location!

While we've all heard this idiom as it relates to real estate, it is now becoming increasingly prevalent in our digital lives. A few companies you may have heard of including Facebook, Foursquare, Groupon, Google offer some kind of location relevant service offering. While the promise of location relevant content and advertising is significant it has to date been met with only a fraction of the success one could reasonably envision. The reason is that the most popular incarnations are based on a user actively 'checking in' to a location. What if someone forgets to check in? What if someone doesn't want to check in multiple times per day? I could go on and on.

The good news is that we are only getting started…local is here to stay.

Here at Xtify, we are guided by the promise of persistent location. Persistent location is now made possible using Apple's iOS and the Android operating system which allow location to be extracted from the handset on a periodic and continuous basis.

By the way, Xtify's Chairman, Andrew Weinreich, wrote a fabulous post about this for the Huffington Post.

Xtify's smart notifications use location-based services that enable companies to establish “geo- fences” – points of interest around locations that are relevant to your customers – enabling you to proactively send messages when when they’re most likely to take a desired action, such as visit a nearby retail location for a special offer, where they can then receive in-store mobile marketing services.

Folks often ask us, 'Do I use check-in services or persistent location?' The great news is that smart notifications are an excellent complement to passive check-in services such as Shopkick, Foursquare, and Facebook Places. You can use Xtify to drive check-ins by driving notification recipients to check-in. More to come on this important topic....

17 February 2011

OrganizedWisdom Partners With Xtify to Offer Mobile Health Notifications and Close the Online Health Gap

by Dan Gesser

We are proud to announce that OrganizedWisdom, an innovator in the digital health space, is now Live with Xtify. A feel good use case for our technology.

"OrganizedWisdom is on a mission to close the 'Online Health Gap' -- the scary space that exists between a doctor visit and the Internet, where people are left alone with an empty search box and millions of computer-generated results," said Unity Stoakes, president and co-founder of OrganizedWisdom. "This mobile initiative represents an important step in advancing our mission of connecting patients, wherever they are, with the most credible health and wellness experts."

Xtify's smart notifications will be used as part of the 'Healthy Bites' application to send specific health and wellness information to the mobile phones of interested people. Here is a screenshot of an OrganizedWisdom smart notification:



Xtify's smart notifications are visually rich messages sent directly to a consumer's smartphone based on rules that content editors and marketers define, such as time of day, user responsiveness, user location, and other criteria that ensures delivery of content when consumers are most likely to need and act on it.

Kudos to the Organized Wisdom team for their vision!

Further details here.

14 February 2011

Announcing the Mobile Industry’s First Cross-OS Mobile Notifications Platform for Location-Based Marketing!

by Dan Gesser

Exciting news from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.....today Xtify announced the first cross-OS mobile notifications platform for location-based marketing!

Said plainly, mobile marketers and developers with smartphone applications on one or many platforms (iOS, Android and BlackBerry) can now use Xtify to easily configure their campaigns from a single, easy to use interface. No need to log in to multiple systems, Xtify lets you do it all from one place with only one login.

Application publisher campaigns can be configured to target customers based on location, time, past user behavior and other criteria. A marketer's delight!

Additional features of Xtify's Smart Notifications Platform:

  • Higher quality, lower cost – Deliver visually rich messages without the per-message costs, character/size limitations, and extensive approval process associated with SMS, MMS, and email-based marketing. And there are no carrier-related GPS costs because smart notification technology uses the phone’s internal locator beacon to persistently know consumer location.
  • Message delivery even when the mobile application is closed – The content appears as an alert in the message tray of the customer’s phone screen, and can be acted on even if the brand’s app has not been opened by the customer.
You can read the full release here.

25 January 2011

The Xtify Name Game

by Dan Gesser

We're frequently asked by press, customers, prospects and potential employees about what our company name, Xtify, means or stands for. What a great topic for a blog post…..

Xtify helps brands and application publishers deliver the right content to the right users at the right time and place.

Time:
Marketers use our console and APIs to configure the specific dates and times when their push notification campaigns will be sent. You can use Xtify to send notifications everyday at 5pm local time or at 11am on Wednesdays or on March 3, 2011 at 4pm.

Place:
The use of persistent location or passively derived location, refers to the extraction of location on a periodic and continuous basis from a smartphone once a consumer has opted-in to share this information. Using persistent location, marketers can send useful messages to consumers’ smartphones when they enter a predefined geographic area, or “geo-fence.” Consumers don’t have to open up the brand’s app or check in to find out if there’s a special offer – the offer is automatically triggered when the consumer is in the vicinity of the triggering location and can use it immediately.

Thus, the name Xtify was inspired by the adage “X marks the spot" as our services are used to configure the right time(s) and place(s), when and where, push notifications will be delivered to customer smartphones.