Big new features in Twile in 2017

We’re halfway through 2017 and we think it’s a good time to look back at everything we’ve added into Twile this year. Our development team have been working hard to bring you lots of new features over the past six months and – just in case you missed them – here is a quick round-up:

freeTwile is now completely free!
At the start of the year, we removed the subscription fee for using Twile and our family timeline is now free for everyone!


World history timelinesExplore timelines of world history
In January we opened up our timelines of world history to everyone, whether they use Twile or not. Since then, we’ve added many new timelines, including:


Family history infographicYour family in numbers
We launched our personalised digital family infographic at RootsTech in February. A colourful graphic, made up of numbers pulled from your family tree, you simply click a button to see information such as the average age of marriage in your family, popular surnames and the average family size! We designed it to be easy to share digitally or we also offer a printed version.  So far we have added some colour options including Irish and English and we will be launching a US version in time for Independence Day next week!

Import from facebook into TwileImport your photos from Facebook
We made some big improvements to our Facebook import earlier this year, which lets you create a timeline out of the photos and memories you have in Facebook.  Click the ‘Add’ button in Twile to try it out.

Access permissions in TwileControl what your family can edit in Twile
We added a feature that lets you control how other family members can contribute to your tree and timeline.   When you invite your family, you can choose whether they are allowed to add, edit or delete people on your tree and events on your timeline.

Add words to your timelineAdd notes and words
If you want to add some words to your Twile timeline, to help tell the story or to describe an event that you don’t have photos for, you can! We added this new feature earlier this month.

Alias or known as namesAdd alias or “known as” names to your family tree
If you have anyone on your family tree who was (or is) known by a different name to their given name, you can add an alias name.

Lots of TLC
We’re constantly tinkering with Twile to make it quicker and easier to use or to fix pesky bugs that get in the way of your Twiling.  We are always looking to make Twile better.  Please keep telling us what you like (or don’t like) about Twile and we will keep working on the improvements.

Turn your history knowledge into a Twile timeline

Could you help us add more history into Twile?

Over the last year we’ve added a number of world history “streams” to Twile, allowing you to see your ancestors’ lives in the context of what was happening in the world around them.

We started with a timeline of World War 2, via the American Revolutionary War and most recently a timeline of French Presidents.  We’re adding more of these streams over the next few months, but would like to offer you the opportunity to share your own history knowledge with other Twile users.

If you have a topic you’re knowledgeable and passionate about, please get in touch and we will set up a new (free) timeline for you to build.  It may be something global – war, politics, sport, entertainment – or something local, such as the history of your own community.  You’ll be able to share the timeline online, embed it into your own website or blog and – of course – add it to your Twile family timeline.

Simply add a comment below this article or send us an email to help@twile.com and we’ll get in touch.

Add alias or “known as” names to your family tree

You probably have at least one person on your Twile family tree who was (or is) known by a name different to their given name.  For example, my grandmother was given the name Dorothy as a child, but was known as Joan all of her life.

Previously, there was no way to enter these “known as” names in Twile, but we’ve now filled that gap.

To add an alias name for somebody on your Twile family tree:

  1. Move your mouse over them on the tree
  2. Click ‘Profile’
  3. Click on their name (near the top)
  4. Enter a value in the “known as” field, alongside their first name
  5. Click ‘Save’
  6. Now their alias name will be displayed anywhere you see that person in the tree or timeline

This has always been a much-requested feature in Twile, so we’re really glad to finally have it in there for you.  Please add a comment below to let us know what you think.

Add notes and words to your timeline

Sometimes you just want to add some words to your Twile timeline, to help tell the story or to describe an event that you don’t have any photos for.  Our latest addition to Twile allows you to do just that.

Adding a text event to a Twile timelineNow when you click the ‘Add’ button at the top of your timeline, you’ll see a new option: “Add an Event”.

Choose that option to open up a new, empty event – ready for you to add a title, description and anything else you like.

Any “words” you add to the story will be displayed on the timeline, so it’s a great way of adding a narrative to your family’s story.

New feature for managing access permissions for your family

We’ve just added a new feature to Twile that lets you control how other family members can contribute to your tree and timeline.  Until now, people you invited could edit your family tree (which isn’t always what you’d want), but weren’t able to make changes to events on your timeline (though you might sometimes want them to).

Permissions when inviting family membersWhen you invite people now, you’ll see a simple slider control that lets you specify whether that individual can add, edit or delete people on your tree and events on your timeline.

If you choose ‘Add’, they will be able to add people to your tree and add their own timeline events (or photos to yours), but won’t be able to change or remove anything you’ve added.

If you choose ‘Edit’, they will be able to add their own content and also make changes to what you’ve added to Twile – for example, correcting names, places or dates.

If you choose ‘Delete’, they will be able to add their own content, make changes to your people and events, but also remove people and events that you’ve added.

The permissions you grant your individual family members will only affect people and events you have added.

Permissions inside a person's profile on the family treeOnce a family member has been invited, you can always change the permissions they have at a later date.  You’ll find the same slider control inside the profile for each person on the tree.

Move your mouse over a person and choose ‘Profile’ to see these options.

As always, we’d love your thoughts on this new feature.  Does this give you the control you need?  Any suggestions on how to make this better? Please add a comment below or click the ‘Talk to us’ button when you’re logged into Twile.

You can now order a printed family history infographic!

Following feedback and requests we’ve had from customers, we’re really happy to be able to offer you a professionally printed version of our Family History infographic.

Previously only available as a digital version to share online, you can now order your infographic as a high resolution print, to add to the family album or show off in a frame over the mantelpiece.

We have many customers wanting to frame their infographic for themselves or as a gift to family members. Our aim has always been to make family history more interesting and engaging and we love the idea of infographics hanging in someone’s hall and sparking conversations with other family members and friends!

Special Launch Offer – 40% discount

You can order a printed infographic for £28 ($35), however to coincide with Who Do you Think You Are? Live, we are offering a huge 40% discount until the end of April 2017.

The infographics are available in two sizes and delivered FREE anywhere in the world. And since Twile is now totally free for everyone to use, these printed infographics give you a new way to support our project. (Thank you!)

Get your infographic at www.twile.com/numbers

Already have one?  Follow the same link in the email we sent you originally, or click the ‘View infographic’ button on your Twile family tree to order your printed copy.

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?

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 at RootsTech 2017!

The largest global genealogy conference in the world – RootsTech – is finally here and we are delighted to be in Salt Lake City to be a part of it again.

The Innovator Summit kicked off the event today, reminding us of our experience in the Innovator Showdown in 2016, where we came away with two awards, including the coveted People’s Choice (read our previous article here).

Are you visiting RootsTech this week?Here are 10 reasons you should come and see us on booth #332 & 334.

10 reasons to visit the Twile booth

  1. It’s now completely FREE for everyone!
  2. You can create a FREE personalized infographic of your family history
  3. We can show you how to get the rest of your family interested in your research
  4. You could win a $200 Amazon gift card
  5. We’ll show you how to import your FamilySearch Tree
  6. We have free balloons for your kids!
  7. We’re on the way to the restrooms
  8. We’re from England…we might be related!
  9. We have cute British accents
  10. Our flights have cost a fortune (we’re from the UK)

Twile demonstrations

We are also doing several demostrations of Twile, so come along and find out more:

Thursday 9th February 

  • 2.30pm. Not just about records –  Kelly Marsden, Co-founder of Twile – at the Findmypast booth
  • 4.40pm. How to create your family infographic – Paul Brooks, CEO of Twile – in the Demo Theatre

Friday 10th February 

  • 2.30pm. Not just about records – Kelly Marsden, Co-founder of Twile – at the Findmypast booth

Saturday 11th February

  • 12.40pm. Turn your FamilySearch Tree in to a Twile Timeline – Paul Brooks, CEO of Twile – in the Demo Theatre
  • 2.30pm. Not just about records – Kelly Marsden, Co-founder of Twile – at the Findmypast booth

We look forward to seeing you!

 

 

Twile is now FREE for everyone

We are really happy to announce that – as of today – we have removed the subscription fee for using Twile and our family timeline is now free for everyone!

When we started Twile, our vision was for it to be used by all family members, who would share and collaborate on their family story. We feel that our subscription fee was getting in the way.

This is why it is now free to do everything on Twile:

  • Build your family tree
  • Share and collaborate with family
  • Add unlimited milestones and photos
  • Import from FamilySearch
  • Import and merge multiple GEDCOM files

Whilst we will no longer be charging customers to use our core product, we clearly do need to make some money. We are planning to introduce some optional add-ons in the future, which will enhance the Twile experience.

We realise there are many concerns within the industry about privacy and we want to take this opportunity to assure our customers that we will never sell their personal data.

So Twile is now free for you and all of your family – go ahead and build an awesome timeline of your family story, together!