On September 20th, 2021 Rake will launch our first version of Universal Channels. What is a universal channel? And why is Rake adding this feature to our next generation universal messaging platform?
A universal channel is a conversation channel available to an unlimited number of people, who have been invited to join, by the channel owner or administrator. The channel is typical in that it hosts two way communication between all members of the channel. The channel is atypical in that each member of the channel uses the message platform of their choice, always. Each member sends messages from their preferred platform and remains on that platform and sees all of the sends and replies from others, when reading the message thread. The most common form of the communication is text but the channel is also enabled for images, links, files and emojis.
At Rake we know what matters most is the conversation, not the platform. We also understand why our predecessors like Slack, Chanty, Mattermost and Twist have tried to force users onto their platform. Why would Rake not follow that path? Rake is the next generation in messaging. It’s about the conversation, not the platform.
Most of the team at Rake was involved in a start-up that helped over 1,000 businesses grow by disrupting their competitors through radical pricing and marketing changes. It was difficult to keep the client onboard through all the change and when we added even more change on the client management side of the equation we were met with great resistance. The clients were willing to change their operating strategy but they did not want to use our CRM tool, (Salesforce.com and later Slack) for our daily updates. If we had Rake Universal Channels we would have turned that 1,000 into 5,000 and gone on to be a unicorn.
At launch Rake Universal Channels will support SMS, Rake and Facebook Messenger. Soon after we will add WhatsApp and we will continue to add platforms including Telegram, Slack and others.
There are millions of use cases for Rake Universal Channels. If you own a drop-shipping business and use a virtual assistant to keep your store stocked, your virtual assistant can use Facebook Messenger and incur no messaging fees. If you manage a delivery business, your drivers can stay in touch with SMS and keep your conversations organized and searchable in Rake. If you manage communication for a school, your life just got a lot easier. Parents can use SMS while your teachers and administrators use Rake and no conversation will be lost. Your friend group gets better because messages aren’t missed. Your friends that prefer Facebook Messenger and frequently view Facebook Messenger will stay informed while others use SMS and you use Rake. The Rake Universal Channels work with more than two platforms. At launch you can have members of your Universal Channel using SMS, others using Facebook Messenger and others using Rake. Remember, it’s about the conversation , not the platform.
You create a Universal Channel in your Rake workspace. When you create the channel you have the option to activate an SMS number for the channel and the option to attach a Facebook Business Page which is required to enable the Facebook Messenger option
Creating a Facebook Business Page is a simple and free process. Follow these recommendations when creating a Facebook Business Page for your Rake Universal Channel.
- Name your Facebook Business Page the SAME name as your universal channel
- Don't link your Facebook Business Page to WhatsApp or Instagram
- You will be required to choose a Business Category, don't worry if you cannot find a perfect match
Read more about connecting Facebook Messenger to your universal channel.
Before you connect your Universal Channel to Facebook Messenger, make sure you are logged into Facebook. This will make for a smooth connection. The people using Facebook Messenger to chat in your channel will not be required to visit or like your Facebook Business Page. They will never need to know about your Facebook Business Page. The same is true for your Rake workspace.
Our team at Rake hopes everyone will eventually use Rake for their business messaging, maybe their leisure messaging too but our Universal Channels allow millions of people to message each other, while using Rake technology and never quite knowing they are using Rake technology.
After you’ve created and connected your channel, you’ll invite users to enjoy your new found message simplicity. Invitations are sent with email and they come from Rake. Your name and email address and the channel name will be included in the email invitation. Be sure to name your channel in a way that your users will realize why they have been invited.
Using universal communication with contacts outside of your organization provides you all the benefits of channel conversations including search, history, notifications and flexibility. Universal Channels will quickly become the primary way you communicate with your clients, partners, freelancers, consultants, virtual assistants and everyone else.
It’s about the conversation, not the platform.