In 2012, a team of fellows at Code for America received a call to action. Our partners at the City of Philadelphia needed a way to reach out to citizens left out of traditional public engagement. So we built a service that used the simple power of text messaging to help government and citizens connect. We called it Interactive Text.
Even before the pilot launch, word spread to cities across the country, each asking how they could use Interactive Text too. Small, rural communities needed to reach residents who couldn’t drive hours to meetings at the county seat. Large, urban communities needed to connect with constantly-moving residents. We realized that this simple, nimble platform could be useful for any city and any sector. Fueled by this enthusiasm, and support from Code for America and the Knight Foundation, we set out to make Interactive Text available to all. Since then, Interactive Text has helped reduce air pollution in Philadelphia, improve streetscapes in Chicago, ensure New Yorkers have a say in city budgeting, optimize bike share stations in Philadelphia, transit services in Fort Collins, and much more.
In 2015, Interactive Text was acquired by Granicus, the leading cloud-based digital communication solution for government. More than 1,000 organizations worldwide use Granicus to inform and engage 90 million people. By joining forces, we can empower more governments to create better lives for more people by meeting them wherever they are — on mobile, email, or both.