With text messaging services like Viber, Skype, iMessenger, Google hangouts, WhatsApp, GroupMe etc. available for free use, why would you need anything else? For example, both GroupMe and WhatsApp are applications for a smartphone, but have a limited number of features. The application GroupMe allows you to create groups on your mobile device so you can send the same message to a group of people. You are able to add everyone within your address book to the GroupMe application which allows all messages sent in response to a group message to be propagated to the rest of the group. The application creates what is known a private chat room. The WhatsApp application works in much the same way, but each user must have the application installed on the mobile device they will be using for sending the messages. These are applications that can be downloaded and used on mobile devices and are not suitable for use with large groups to opt-in and take action. Some of the limitations are:
Why do I need PastorsLine when there are so many free apps available?
Big bonus with using cloud-based apps instead of local apps.
API (Application Program Interface) is a way in which vendors can allow apps written in different languages to talk to each other. E.g. PastorsLine can talk to MailChimp or CCB or any other vendors we integrate. These apps can talk together because they are connected by what is called ‘the cloud’ (a communications network).
Phones usually don’t allow you to extend your SMS application that way unless you hack them—neither scalable OR legal! Other free apps such as Skype and WhatsApp are niche networks. They prefer you to use their apps and their solutions so they are not interested in integrating either. If they DO extend, it will be with very selected partners. Skype is probably not going to integrate with the solutions churches use.
Cloud-based text solutions are usually built on architectures that are going to allow extensions to happen.
This means churches or the vendors can build integrations with other vendors; hence, ensuring they can roll out a proper digital strategy. A digital strategy that is fully integrated, in which all your systems (or most of them) are speaking to each other, is worth the expense of using a cloud solution versus just your phone or some free app.
In sum, using a cloud-based app allows you to extend the application and integrate with other tools that you are using.