MyAKA helps users keep their private phone number private. Using Twilio Voice, MyAKA gives them a number they can use publicly and control privately on their phone. We talked with CEO John Skorick (pictured right) about MyAKA’s partnership with Break The Cycle, a non profit that empowers youth to end domestic violence, and user privacy.
What is MyAKA?
MyAKA is a privacy service which allows a user to add an anonymous mobile number (a MyAKA number) to their phone. Users in the US and Canada can get a number in their local area code, and enable privacy features like do-not-disturb and number blocking directly from their phone. We don’t require any apps, downloads or web interface to use MyAKA.
How are you using Twilio?
Twilio is a key part of the service. The dynamic API enables us to assign the new numbers in real-time, and Twilio’s scripting for voice services enables call connection, while still preserving the full anonymity of the user.
Additionally, Twilio’s support is exceptional. Our account rep and sales engineer have been extremely helpful whenever we’ve needed input on feature integrations.
How do you handle the call routing feature used in MyAKA so that the user’s ID is protected on both incoming and outgoing calls/SMS?
When our users give out their MyAKA number, they’ll receive calls and texts through that number. All outbound text or voice communication shows the MyAKA number; not their real number. This is critical to preserve anonymity. MyAKA assigns every new contact a unique number. The user simply saves this number to their address book. All they have to do is call or text this number, and their real number is protected.
A significant percentage of our customers use MyAKA for online dating. We also see business professionals from real estate and law, to doctors and hair dressers, who use their MyAKA specifically for clients. The do-not-disturb feature is especially popular with business professionals because it allows them to turn their number off, without turning their phone off.
We also have a growing number of customers who use our service when selling goods on Craigslist or eBay.
How has user response been?
User response has been tremendous. Although there is a bit of an educational process as MyAKA is a fairly new concept, we have a very high conversion rate on traffic – 1:10 to 1:200 depending on source – and are retaining customers at a rate of 92% month over month.
What is next for MyAKA?
In addition to core elements such as our Privacy News section, social media and SEO efforts, we are working on significant outreach to both technology and lifestyle bloggers and have recent articles in both TheNextWeb and Cosmopolitan. We are also focused on strategic partnerships with blog networks such as SingleEdition.com, as well as direct relationships with online dating companies and have also begun reaching out to aggregators of professional services such as attorney’s and real estate agents.
Anything you would like to add?
In January we partnered with Break the Cycle, a nationally recognized non-profit organization that empowers young people to end domestic and dating violence. In addition to raising awareness to one another’s initiatives through various marketing channels, we also donate one dollar from every sale to Break the Cycle.
With February being Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we have launched a joint campaign called Break the Cycle, Win a Cycle which is a sweepstakes you can enter on Facebook for the chance to win a beach cruiser and free MyAKA usage plans.
We certainly look forward to additional campaigns and furthering our partnership with Break the Cycle.
You can find out more about how MyAKA offers private numbers via Twilio visit their website here.