Community competes with a bevy of different types of services vying for space in your text inbox, from Attentive to Twilio to Zendesk. And many of the software platforms that companies use to manage their relationships with customers now have features that facilitate texting.
But what sets Community apart it apart is the dialogue that celebrities and brands have with their customers, who provide troves of information about themselves, which the brand owns and isn’t shared with Community’s other clients.
Oseary was originally drawn to Community because of his role as a music manager, he said.
“I have no way to know who came to the concert tonight. I have no way to speak to them again once they leave the concert. I have no way to know who bought the album,” he said. “With Community, once they text the number, we now have a way to stay in touch directly. And that information is not owned by anyone but the artist, the talent or the person who’s building a business.”
Companies advertise a phone number that users text to sign up for updates. McDonald’s posted its number on a billboard in Times Square just this month. The service also allows brands to segment customers who sign up for texts, so if an artist has an concert coming up in Atlanta, only people in Atlanta get the texts.
Using text messages to connect with customers, for all its promise, poses unique challenges. Brands are required to get their customers to opt in to messages, which is hard to do unless the brand is already well established. And customers may want to hear from fewer brands in their text inbox than they do in their email inbox.
“As opposed to email, when you have to scroll to the bottom of the thing and hit the link that says unsubscribe, if you don’t like the text messages you’re getting, you only have to write one word: Stop,” Mr. Kutcher said. (That’s some news you can use.)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Rupert Murdoch makes another deal. Fox News settled a defamation case with Dominion Voting Systems at the last minute for $788 billion. The deal allowed Murdoch and his company’s executives to avoid having to testify, but it also handed Staple Street, the private equity owner of Dominion, a big payday after it bought the company for $38 million in 2018. His son Lachlan, C.E.O. of Fox Corporation, also settled a separate defamation suit against an Australian publisher this week.