Import your Facebook photos to your Twile timeline

Do you have photos in Facebook that you’d like to add to your Twile timeline?  We’ve made some improvements to the Facebook import in Twile, which will help you to update your timeline with the memories you share on Facebook.

A lot of our effort at Twile is spent on finding ways to make it easier for you to share and preserve your family memories.  We know that many of you already share photos with friends on Facebook – why upload them again to Twile if you can just import them with a couple of clicks?

We’re always looking for ways to engage the younger generations with Twile – we hope that our integrations with services like Facebook (and Instagram coming soon!) will play a part.

How to import photos from Facebook

Add button in Twile timeline

  1. Click the ‘Add’ button at the top of your Twile timeline
  2. Click ‘Import from Facebook’
  3. Login with Facebook if requested
  4. Select the photo albums you wish to import
  5. Click ‘Import’

Twile will automatically add events to your timeline, using the photos you’ve selected.  They’re added to the right point on the timeline, making it much easier to explore your Facebook content in context with the rest of your recent family history.

As always, we’d love to hear what you think of our Facebook import feature – please leave a comment here or click the ‘Talk to us’ button inside Twile to talk to one of the team.  Where else would you like to import photos from?

Share your family history infographic and win a £100 Amazon gift card

We’re going to be at Who Do You Think You Are? Live at the NEC in Birmingham, UK again this week – to celebrate we’re offering you the chance to win a £100 Amazon gift card.

The exhibition runs from 6th-8th April and we will be joining Findmypast on their booth, where we will show you how to turn your family tree into one of our family history infographics!

Family History InfographicOur infographic gives you a visual snapshot of your research, with statistics like the average age of marriage, number of children per family and most common surnames – fun stuff which will appeal to non-genealogists! We hope this infographic will help you to share a little of your research with other people on your tree.

If you can’t wait until Who Do You Think You Are? Live, you can create your infographic here at  www.twile.com/numbers. It’s quick, easy and free!

Share your infographic and win a £100 Amazon gift card

Create your infographic at www.twile.com/numbers, share it and tag Twile during April to enter the prize draw.  You can tag Twile on Facebook (#Twile or @TwileTimeline) or Twitter (@TwileTweets).

We will be picking a winner on 30th April, so good luck!

If you are going to Who Do You Think You Are? Live, we look forward to seeing you there! Here are a few useful articles to help with the planning…

16 Things You Need to Know Before Attending Who Do You Think You Are? Live

Making the most of a genealogy conference

 

 

 

Some of our favourite inspirational genealogy mothers

This weekend, we celebrate Mother’s Day in the UK. We have met and come to know many inspirational genealogy mothers over the past few years who have a real passion for preserving memories and sharing their family stories with their children.

At Twile, our mission is to make family history more engaging and interesting for younger generations, so we love reading these mums’ articles and often use their advice with our own children.

Here are a few of our favourite family history mummy bloggers and some of their recent articles that stood out to us:

  • Hilarie Robison at Legacy Tale:Why you should hold an intentional family planning retreat“. As fellow entrepreneurs whose children have an awareness of the family ‘business’, this was such an interesting read. An interesting way to explore things that the whole family wish to accomplish together in the long term. We are delighted to be supporting Legacy Tale’s storytelling retreat in April.
  • Amie Bowser Tennant at The Genealogy Reporter: “Trying to Stump Big Grandma and other Family History Fun with Kids“. A great article about using every opportunity to tell children their family history in short little conversations. I remember fondly little snippets of the conversations I had with grandparents and often try to pass these memories on to my kids.
  • Melissa Finlay at The Finlay Family Blog: May I introduce to You…Melissa Finlay“. I loved this Geneabloggers interview with Melissa. She really is an inspirational lady and makes me feel positively lazy! As well as developing genealogy apps and maintaining her blog, she is also home-schooling her children – a real Wonder Woman.
  • Nicole Dyer at Family Locket: Nicole hosted the very first Family History for Children Blog Link Up this week. What a brilliant idea! We are looking forward to joining the link up in April – “Family History Research for Busy Parents”.
  • Jana Greenhalgh at The Genealogy Kids: “Little ones love stories and pictures“. Definitely true! Our daughter especially enjoys looking at the wedding pictures of her grandparents and great-grandparents on our Twile timeline.
  • Jana Last at Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog: “Favourite Family Recipes – Grandpa C’s Peanut Clusters.” Definitely worth trying as they are so simple, although the core ingredients are not so easy to find in the UK and we had to improvise! I have a hand-written cook book that belonged to my grandmother – it was collated by children in the neighbourhood and each of the mothers who had provided recipes were referred to with a title (e.g. Mrs Johnson’s Lemon Cake). Engaging in family food traditions is really a way to pass on little slices of the family story.
  • Allison Kimball at AllisonKimball.com: Remembering“. I love the idea of children within a family picking up a photogaph of someone – an ancestor – that they want to know better.

To all the inspirational mothers, whether you’re in the UK or not: Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Changing the time on Britain’s most prestigious clocks

This weekend sees the beginning of British Summer Time (BST), which was first established by the Summer Time Act of 1916 and we move forward to GMT +1. As every British household gets set to change the multitude of clocks around the house, we spare a thought for those tasked with winding forward some of the most prestigious clocks around Britain.

 Big Ben

The world’s most famous clock is the responsibility of the Clockmakers at the Palace of Westminster  – who have 2000 clocks to change throughout the Place and parliamentary buildings! Changing the time on Big Ben is not a simple process. It involves careful precision and split-second timing from the Clockmakers.

Take a look at the process here and watch this fascinating video…

Royal Liver Building Liverpool 

The clocks at the top of the Royal Liver building, Great George, are the largest clock faces in Britain. There are four of them positioned on the 295 feet high clock tower overlooking the River Mersey – with huge dials of 25 feet in diameter and 14-foot long minute hands! They are the world’s 16th largest clockfaces and were put in motion on 22nd June 1911, the precise moment that King George was crowned!

Britains Oldest Clock

The oldest still fully-functioning clock in Britain is the clock on the north transept of Wells Cathedral in Somerset. An astronomical clock, it dates back to between 1386 and 1392.

The Eastgate Tower Clock 

Situated in the Roman walled city of Chester and built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, this impressive clock is built into the walkway along Chester Walls, above the city’s Eastgate entrance.  It is said to be the most photographed clock in Britain, after Big Ben.

Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, University of Birmingham 

Otherwise know as “Old Joe”, this is the tallest freestanding clock tower in the World at 100 metres! Built to commemorate Joseph Chamberlain, the first Chancellor of the University, it was completed in 1908.

More famous clocks from around the World…

Philadelphia City Hall in Philadelphia, US held the title of the tallest building in the world from 1901 to 1908 and has four clocks which are 8 meters in diameter.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the tallest clock tower and largest clock face in the World!

The Prague Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic attracts many tourists, who watch the famous moving figures of the beautiful clock. I watched this myself in a snowy January many years ago and it is lovely to see. Hard to believe that the clock was first installed in the year 1410!

Rathaus-Glockenspiel, Munich, Germany is a famous tourist attraction, built in 1908. It has 48 Bells and 32 life-sized figures who re-enact two stories from the 16th Century.

The Savious Tower, Moscow, Russia in Red Square was designed in 1491 and installed in 1625 and is part of the Kremlin walls.

Back to everyone in the UK… remember to put your clocks forward and enjoy the extra hours of sunshine!

Two new features for St Patrick’s Day

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, we are pleased to announce two new features.

Our infographic, designed to help you share your research in a fun and exciting way with your family, can now be created in the national colours of Ireland.

So if Irish Infographicyou have a bit of Irish blood and want a fun way of showing your family members their Irish heritage, click here to create yours. It’s free to create and shows you statistics such as the average number of children per family, the most common surnames, the ratio of men to women and the average age of marriage.

We are also delighted to have launched a timeline of Irish History. The timeline shows the story of Ireland through it’s legal, political and religious events and we are grateful to the Irish Family History Centre in Dublin for their help in pulling the content together.

The Irish Family History Centre are an award-winning history and heritage company, who as part of the EPIC Ireland experience, showcase the unique global journey of the Irish people. Their experts help people research their Irish ancestry and they provide an interesting way for visitors to discover their family story and Irish heritage.

As a Twile user you can overlay this new Irish History timeline onto your own family history timeline, to see the lives of your Irish ancestors in the context of what was happening in the country around them. Your ancestors milestones will be alongside events such as the Confederate Wars and the Great Famine.

We hope that you enjoy these new features…happy St Patrick’s Day!

Related articles

Have you got a little bit of Irish in you? Take the Findmypast Quiz 

10 things you need to know when starting Irish Genealogy Research (Fiona Fitzsimons of the Irish Family History Centre explains everything you need to know)

 

 

Twile supports Legacy Tale’s Family Storytelling retreat

We are delighted to be supporting Legacy Tale’s Family Storytelling retreat, which takes place in St. George, UT in April 2017.

Legacy Tale work with families to reflect and capture their legacy.  Their storytelling retreat brings together mothers, daughters, sisters and grandmothers to record their life stories whilst having fun!

We like anything that makes recording your family story fun and Legacy Tale will be using Twile throughout the two-day retreat to capture and share stories.

Great that this has been announced on International Women’s Day too! For more information and to book tickets, take a look herecropped-main-logo-with-tagline

 

 

 

The technical challenges of running a growing startup

While we are constantly trying to add new features to your Twile timeline and family tree, I thought it might be useful to give some insight into how much time is spent simply ensuring Twile runs smoothly behind the scenes.

One of the things we love about building Twile is the close relationship we have with our customers.  We have always actively encouraged our customers to give us their feedback and reach out when we can help in any way.  And our customers clearly appreciate this level of conversation – something they very rarely get from other online brands.

The feedback we receive makes it much easier for us to build the features that customers want to use.  Pretty much everything we add into Twile has been directly or indirectly requested by our users.

Unfortunately, there is also a large amount of development work needed that doesn’t lead to shiny new features.  As Twile has grown (we’ve been around for nearly four years now), we’ve had to adapt many technical aspects of Twile to accommodate the requirements of our audience.  Who knew you guys could have 50,000 people on a family tree?!

And as we add new features to the app, we have to review its look-and-feel and layout, to make sure it still has the minimalist simplicity that our customers have told us they love.

Fortunately, we have a great team of developers who are experts in all of the above.  Every single piece of Twile that you either can or can’t see has been designed and built internally by Twile’s own developers.  We’re very proud of them 🙂

So, please keep your suggestions coming – we love to hear your feedback and we take on board every idea or request you send our way.  We have to spend a lot of our time maintaining the existing features and keeping Twile running smoothly, but we’re also working as hard as we can to add all of the features you’re hoping for.

And we have some very big features coming soon!

Twile present to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions

This week, we attended a council meeting of members of ALVA – the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions – at Wembley Stadium in London.

As well as a great opportunity to rub shoulders with leaders of some of the UK’s leading tourist attractions, we had a chance to tour England’s national football stadium and sample some truly fantastic food!  We were made extremely welcome and are very much looking forward building on the relationships we started there.

ALVA represent some of the top UK attractions to Government, media and business and lobby for support for the sector, as well as providing valuable networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities for their members.

Twile were introduced to ALVA through our relationship with Pitch@Palace, the startup competition founded by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.  The Pitch@Palace team felt there was a natural connection between Twile’s mission around family and history and the goals of ALVA’s members, which include museums, palaces, galleries and heritage trusts. All members have rich histories, perfect for viewing on a timeline.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to introduce Twile and look forward to long and prosperous relationships with ALVA members.

Twile is announced as one of Creative England’s Top 50 companies

Every year, Creative England reveals their CE50 – a list of the fifty best up-and-coming, innovative companies in the creative industries in England.  Twile are delighted to be one of this year’s 50!

The list includes some of the most exciting startups in the film, music, gaming and digital spaces.  It’s a very broad range of companies, reflecting and celebrating the success and diversity of British creativity.

CE_Live_2017_089

Creative England have supported Twile since we first launched in 2013 and it’s an honour to be among their top companies.  We’ve changed a lot since our early days and have evolved Twile into a uniquely innovative offering in the family history space – they’re still there supporting us as we grow and our place in the CE50 must mean we’re doing something right.

Read the interview with Twile’s CEO, Paul Brooks, in the Daily Telegraph this week: Three tips for launching a company in the creative sector

And read the full report here: Creative England CE50 2017

 

 

 

 

Our five highlights from RootsTech 2017

The Twile team were at RootsTech 2017 last week, at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, one year after we won 2 awards there in the Innovator Showdown.

Last year there was a huge buzz around Twile, because we were pitching in the competition and because we were introducing Twile for the first time to most people.  And the buzz was still there this time – RootsTech is such an exciting experience for family historians and we love being among such enthusiastic people!

Here are our five highlights from RootsTech 2017:

  1. Twile is now FREE for everyone
    On the first day of RootsTech, we announced we were dropping the subscription fee for Twile and making it completely free for everybody to use.  Needless to say, this was a very popular piece of news and we had a lot of new customers very excited to start using our family history timeline.
  2. Family history infographic
    We showcased our new family history infographic at RootsTech, allowing attendees to sign up and get their free “My Family In Numbers” chart, based on their FamilySearch or GEDCOM tree.  Get yours for free at: https://twile.com/numbers
  3. Innovator Showdown
    Five teams made it through to the final of the Innovator Showdown competition on Friday, 10th February.  Congratulations to Old News USA (1st), Qromatag (2nd), Double Match Triangulator (3rd) and Kindex with the coveted People’s Choice award! As one of last year’s winners, Twile were invited back on stage to give an update on what we’ve been up to since then.
  4. LeVar Burton’s keynote speech
    The keynotes are a big part of the RootsTech conference and the highlight for many was LeVar Burton’s speech on Friday morning.  The actor, best known for his roles as Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Kunta Kinte in Roots, gave a truly heartwarming talk about his relationship with his mother, his African heritage and slavery in the United States.
  5. The exhibition hall
    If you’ve never been to RootsTech, you’ll struggle to comprehend how big it is! More than 30,000 people visited the exhibition hall during the 3 days of the show and there was never a quiet moment on the Twile booth. We spoke with so many customers and made some fantastic contacts with exhibiting brands (big and small), forming the seeds of some really promising partnerships.

And Twile appeared on Utah’s KSL News as the exhibition was getting set up:

RootsTech 2018 is on 28 February – 3 March and Twile will most certainly be there!

Did you visit RootsTech this year?  Please add a comment below to tell us what your personal highlights were.