How to send push notifications to a large group of volunteers?
December 19, 2017 8:29 PM   Subscribe

A friend of mine wants to find a way to send push notifications to a large group of volunteers (around 10,000). I'm looking for an app that can handle this, without having to create a new app.

- Need to support android and iOS platforms.
- email lists, facebook pages, etc... have been ruled out, due to the inconsistent technical expertise of the users.
- He can get everyone to install an app.
- They shouldn't have to periodically check the app, instead, it should alert the user that a new message is available.
- Volunteers are not limited to USA.
- Need to be able to push messages that includes links.
posted by WizKid to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
- Very limited budget available
posted by WizKid at 8:32 PM on December 19, 2017

Slack? There are Slack communities with well over 10k people, and you can use @channel to send a notification to everyone in the channel with the app installed and notifications enabled. It's not quite the intended use case, but it could work.

I know you don't want to create a new app, but creating an app that does absolutely nothing except receive push notifications is pretty trivial...
posted by primethyme at 9:14 PM on December 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

I haven't tried it, but it seems like having everyone install Pushover and give you their app email address would work?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 9:18 PM on December 19, 2017

Are you sure it has to be push notifications and not text messages?
posted by radioamy at 8:49 AM on December 20, 2017

Text messages can include links.

If your users can't be relied on to receive an email because of their inconsistent technical expertise, then a smartphone app seems risky to me. Are you sure they all even have smartphones? SMS is pretty simple and reliable.
posted by richb at 8:57 AM on December 20, 2017

Agreed that if email isn't feasible than getting 10,000 people to use an app seems unlikely as well. With that said, can you routinely send SMSes to 10,000 people globally on a "very limited budget"?
posted by mmascolino at 9:45 AM on December 20, 2017

Regarding SMS, it would cost about $75 to send 10k SMS via Twilio to all US numbers. Significantly more for non-US numbers. Also would require some programming (though I'm sure someone has built a frontend on top of it, at extra cost). There may be some cheaper options, but that's the common solution for this as far as I know.
posted by primethyme at 11:26 AM on December 20, 2017

What about WhatsApp broadcast?
posted by Jacqulyn at 12:01 PM on December 20, 2017

Meetup does this. I use it for my large (200+ people) volunteer group and it works great. It's $20/month for the organizer ($15/month if you prepay for the year), and free for #RESIST groups.
posted by rada at 12:49 PM on December 20, 2017

Thanks eveyone. I'll pass all the suggestions to my buddy.
posted by WizKid at 10:22 AM on December 21, 2017

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