TextIt Updates: Week of February 21st

Each week, we highlight new articles and changes to the platform, as well as tips intended to help you get the most out of TextIt:


[+] We published an article highlighting the City of Boston's Boston Centers for Youth & Families Division of Youth Engagement and Employment's use of TextIt to to power the SMS messaging portion of its communication pipeline. It’s the largest youth employer in Boston, hiring over 4,000 youth annually to work with over 200 community-based organizations, and has been awarded prizes by the Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation and US Conference of Mayors for its work participatory budgeting program, Youth Lead the Change (link). 

[+] We published an article highlighting WebHelp's use of TextIt to collect product and customer service feedback via SMS messaging for leading European countries. A flow modeled after their service is included for download (link). 

[+] Our expressions library now supports two additional Excel date functions: @(DAYS()) and @(DATEDIF()):

  • @(DATEDIF("start_date", "end_date", "units")) calculates the number of days, months or years between two dates. Units are abbreviated "D", "M", and "Y". A valid expression would adhere to the following format: @(DATEDIF("02-26-2015", "02-26-2016", "M")). Flow and contact variables containing date values may replace "start_date" and "end_date". 
  •  @(DAYS("end_date", "start_date") returns the number of days between two dates. A valid expression would adhere to the following format: @(DAYS("02-28-2016", "02-28-2015")). Flow and contact variables containing date values may replace "end_date" and "start_date". 


[+] We recently received an inquiry as to how TextIt can be configured to allow contacts to update their own campaign events. Recall that campaigns allow you to schedule messages and flows around a specific date, such as a registration or purchase date. This account will be deploying voice (IVR) surveys in Northern Nigeria each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and wanted to know how flows can be used to allow their contacts to change the time at which they'll receive their next call (in case their schedule changes). This is an advanced use case, but easy to learn. Import the file below, 'updating_campaign_events.json', into your account to see how it works. Notes are included to help you along.

[+] To translate messages sent by campaign events, use them to send flows containing translated messages instead of message broadcasts. 

[+] Those using the Nyaruka TextIt Android app to send an receive messages, make sure to enable Airplane Reset mode to ensure your phone stays connected to WiFi even during long periods of inactivity: 

[+] We've received a few inquiries from users who wish to protect their applications with passwords. Import the 'code_validation.json' flow below into your account to learn how to generate passwords and validate them. Note that the attached example generates passwords that are only good for one use. Get in touch if you'd like to learn how to apply your own restrictions to your application. 

[+] Recall that contacts lock into an exclusive relationship with a channel of a particular type once they contact it. This means that if you have multiple channels of the same type connected to your account (such as virtual phone numbers) your contacts will only receive messages from the channel they last contacted. Once they send a message to a different channel, they'll be locked into an exclusive relationship with that channel. Import the file below, 'surface_channels.json', and place contacts in it to create a 'Channel' contact field that contains the address of the channel they last contacted. 

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