Loca is a minimalist group SMS service.

Much like a mailing list, users can subscribe to channels, publish to them, and unsubscribe from them. Unlike a mailing list, no messages are stored by the service, and messages received (via subscription) are anonymous.

Loca was built by Isabell Long and Zachary Voase.

Ideas for taking this project forward

  • Unicode support.

  • Ability to list the channels you are currently subscribed to. At the moment this is difficult because there may be arbitrarily many channels, but the size of an SMS is limited.

  • Ability to unsubscribe from all channels at once (i.e. UNSUB *).

  • White-label deployments for private groups (e.g. organisations, geographical regions, etc.). This would be simple—just provision another database (very cheap) and another text shortcode/number. This could be a viable revenue stream.

  • Analytics (for our purposes).

Estimated costs for taking this project forward

Totally depends on the number of users. The service we’ve built is very scalable, but the main source of costs will be in SMS delivery. It’s likely that the higher volume we have, the cheaper each SMS delivery will be.

About the data used for this project

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