Jul 6, 2011

Golden Monkeys v2 is Live

We just launched a totally new Golden Monkeys mobile app, and it’s available now on the iPhone app store and the Android Market. Our Mobile Lab, API and UX teams collaborated heavily on this iteration, so it’s got some major improvements over the previous version (namely, really powerful search and deep integration into "MailChimp Proper").

For those of you who don’t know, Golden Monkeys is a simple little app for stat freaks that sends real time push alerts whenever VIPs (we call them "golden monkeys" here at MailChimp) open and click your emails (you can read the original blog post about it here).

Here’s a breakdown of what’s new…

More Powerful Searching

Previously, you had to search for VIPs on your MailChimp list from within the mobile app. And you could only search by email address. That’s no big deal if you know *exactly* who your VIPs are, and you enjoy sifting through long lists on tiny screens. But this got cumbersome.

So now, we moved the searching process to MailChimp. Just log in to MailChimp like you normally do, click into your list, hit "View all subscribers:"



and then build a segment based on whatever criteria is important to you. Look for the "segment" link to open up the search options:


This changes everything, because instead of entering VIP emails that you already know, you can actually search your MailChimp lists to discover new Golden Monkeys.

For example, you could build a segment of "nearby fans" using our geolocation data and member ratings based on criteria like this:


Or, if you run an e-commerce store and have our eCommerce360 plugin installed, you can segment based on customer purchase activity:


Another advantage to using MailChimp’s search tool is that you can use our bulk add functionality for selecting multiple Golden Monkeys:

For example, if I want to select all members above a certain klout score, I’d bulk add like this:

Boom, I can add all of them as Golden Monkeys in one fell swoop. Note: the bulk add interface will not show any Golden Monkeys options unless MailChimp detects that you’ve installed and setup the app on your mobile device. 

We’ve also added the ability to add someone to your Golden Monkeys list from each subscriber’s "member profile" screen:

There’s a subtle little Golden Monkey icon underneath Jim’s strikingly handsome gravatar (thanks, Jim).

The icon is grayed out when it’s set to off:

and golden when it’s on:

When it’s set to on, that means the Golden Monkey will automatically sync to your mobile device and alert you to email activity.

Updated Activity Screen

We’ve also updated the "Recent Activity" screen to be more of a chronological feed (kinda like Twitter, or our own Chimp Chatter).This way, you can get a nice birds-eye view of all activity from all your Golden Monkeys:


Setup via Camera, Security Settings

We made it a lot easier to get set up, because you can now just snap a picture of your API key’s QR code (we recently added this same setup functionality to Chimpadeedoo2). Using API keys is generally recommended over plugging your username and password in, because it’s a little more secure. If someone were to steal your iPhone, you could log in to MailChimp and revoke the API key. It’s just that API keys are really long, and hard to type on your phone. Snapping a pic with your camera is easy, though.

Choose the API Key login option:

Then snap a pic:

Speaking of API key security, you might also want to activate SMS security alerts in your MailChimp account settings. We’ll TXT you whenever anyone logs in to your account, downloads a list, creates an API key, etc. If you’re interested, check out: MailChimp TXT Security Alerts


Stuff Under Settings

Click the gear icon to get to Golden Monkeys Settings screen:

From here, you can setup a passcode to lock the app. This is a good idea in case your phone is ever stolen.

We’re talking about customer data here, so you should lock this baby down:


You’ll also notice a little Truste privacy badge on the Settings screen:

This is a new service from Truste designed to address concerns specific to mobile apps, and also explains things in an easy-to-digest, mobile-friendly way (with icons and stuff):

We’re proud to be among the first mobile apps to be Truste certified.


v1 Users Must Upgrade

If you’re a current Golden Monkeys v1 user, you’ll need to update the app because v1 will not work anymore after today. Don’t worry, though. Any Golden Monkeys you’ve designated in v1 will show up when you upgrade to v2.


More to come from the Mobile Lab

We’ve come a long way since we first started tinkering with mobile technology. We built an iPhone friendly web app in 2008, then hired Pinch+Zoom to build our big native iPhone app in 2009, and launched it early 2010. By the summer of 2010, it became crystal clear it was time to invest in mobile for the long term. In July, we started our Mobile Lab. Because mobile technology is changing so rapidly (hey, who knew those crazy iPad tablet things would actually catch on?), our strategy was to build apps fast, iterate fast, and learn fast. We launched Chimpadeedoo, Chimpadeedee (on Adobe AIR), Pyow, ChimpKit and ChimpBot (for mobile developers), built our mobile optimized web app, and built ChimpNews as a way to tinker with the Android platform (which was at version 2.2 then, and now we’re already up to version 3.1). Not to mention our mobile-optimized AlterEgo web app (yeah, we’re planning a native app too). Mobile’s changing fast. So we’ve always wanted to stay flexible and just build on top of the MailChimp API (thank goodness we invested so heavily in that department), without committing too much or integrating too much with "MailChimp Proper." Moving forward, we plan to keep iterating fast, but you’ll see things integrating deeper as our Mobile team works more and more closely with our product team. You’ll also see us launching iPhone and Android apps simultaneously. Exciting times! Our next big project is an update to MailChimp for iPhone and Android. Finally, if you’re interested, the Mobile Lab has a newsletter you can subscribe to (check out their most recent news here).