Thinking social again, Dwolla’s Dollar Thoughts looks to up its userbase
On Dollar Thoughts, users submit short statements via text message and receive a small payment from Dwolla. Screenshot from dollarthoughts.com/bestest.
Dwolla is at it again, handing out dollars and hoping for social media buzz and new users.
Over the weekend, Dwolla co-founder Ben Milne and Entrepreneurial Technologies' James Armstead created Dollar Thoughts, a website that features user-submitted short statements and allows visitors to vote each statement up or down and share on Facebook or Twitter. With the implementation of Twilio's API, statements are submitted via text message to 515-650-4583, and once a submission is received, a user is sent a Dwolla payment through the implementation of Dwolla's API. (Putting to play a recent Dwolla upgrade of being able to send money to a Dwolla user's mobile number.)
Dollar Thoughts is both a display of Dwolla and Twilio's APIs as well as an effort by Dwolla to acquire more users and interact with its users. On Dwolla's national launch in December 2010, you may remember they used a Twitter account called @DwollaX to send money to a user's Twitter handle, which then led to the use of the hashtag #passthedwolla amongst its users.
"I think it's safe to say that we're fascinated by the role money could play in social networks," Jordan Lampe, Dwolla's director of communications, said today via email, "so we're always toying around with new ideas to inject cash into users' social streams.
"In this case, Ben and James whipped this up over the weekend. I like to think of it as the new Texts From Last Night… except with money… and you don't feel dirty for compulsively reading it."
Whatever it's called, it's a less costly and more social route than what PayPal took more than 10 years ago (pre-Twitter and Facebook) when it offered $10 to users for each new user they referred to the service. In 2011, Dwolla has more social media tools to take advantage of and, in comparison to PayPal's funding, it's forced to work with a smaller marketing budget.
Though Lampe did not comment on the most current user number, he said that as of last month Dwolla "sailed pass 40,000 users." Lampe also said that by Milne's latest count, Dollar Thoughts has recorded several thousand page loads and votes. As of this posting, there had been 117 submissions.
Also, if you're interested in the above, check out the answer by David Sack, original COO and product lead of PayPal, on Quora to the question: "How was PayPal able to structure the $10 sign-up bonus?"