Twixl Distribution Platform

The Twixl Distribution Platform is a cloud-based service to manage the content in your app. A Twixl app is basically like an empty shell that gets its content from the Twixl Distribution Platform. On the platform, you will define the interface of your app and optionally manage who can get access to the content in the app.

The Twixl Distribution Platform lets you:

  • Create and manage the interface of your apps
  • Manage your content
  • Push content from your own CMS
  • Interface with the app stores and manage how your content is offered for sale
  • Manage access to your content
  • Optimize your bandwidth usage
  • Analyze how readers interact with your app
Watch the video Distribution Platform login
 

Create and manage the interface of your app

App interface

On the Twixl Distribution Platform you can create the interface for your app, the browse pages that guide your readers through your content.  Using a graphical user interface, you can easily preview the complete look and feel of your browse page, and changes you make are reflected immediately. You can create a separate setup for tablets and phones.

These ‘browse pages’ are essential to increase the reach of your app and let you guide your readers to the content you want to emphasize. Even if you are publishing on a regular interval it offers the capability not only to better present what you have to offer, but also to focus on different items from time to time.

A browse page can highlight different types of links to your content:

  • Single articles
  • Collections of articles
  • Images
  • Movies
  • A placeholder
  • Web links
  • Web viewers

Note that the configuration of your app’s interface is fully server-driven, so any change you make on the platform is reflected in your app on the fly. This means that there is no need to update the app itself if you just want to update the look and feel and the organization of your browse pages.

Manage your content

The Twixl Distribution Platform lets you managing your mobile content. You define which articles, issues or collections will be published in your app. Content can be organized in ‘collections’. A collection is a series of articles - in traditional kiosk type apps a collection would be the same as an issue. However, it is more flexible, because the same article can be part of different collections if you want to. You’ll define which collections or articles you want to highlight in your browse pages.

A Twixl Distribution Platform account lets you manage different apps. There is an account administrator who will have access to all apps, and app administrators will have access to only specific apps.

Selling content

Twixl Publisher supports in-app purchases on a collection level, standard subscriptions and all access subscriptions.

On the Twixl Distribution Platform, you’ll select whether a collection is a free download or an in-app purchase. The Twixl Distribution Platform then interacts with the App Store developer portals (iTunes Connect — for iOS apps, or Google Play Developer Console — for Android apps) to get detailed in-app purchase and subscription info for the app. This makes sure that for every purchase via the app store, the Twixl Distribution Platform will let the user download the correct content.

Storage

Storage

The Twixl Distribution Platform is first and foremost a storage platform where you will store all the content that you wish to publish. Whether you upload them manually, via an editorial system, a CMS or automatically via an RRS feed, all content will be stored on the Twixl Distribution Platform.

Storage is also about the user and how much space your content will take on his device and indirectly how much bandwidth you will consume.
The space a Twixl article based app can take on the device of a user is limited to 750 MB. The user has access to all content at any time but only the most recent consulted content is stored on his device.

With article based apps the user downloads article per article and not a complete collection at once. To provide a smooth experience when moving to the first article in a collection and for quicker access, the subsequent article is pre-loaded in the background. Also, when e.g. navigating to article 5 in a collection, not only the subsequent article (6), but also the previous article (4) is pre-loaded in the background.

Each collection is also available to be downloaded as one package for easy offline access.

Here the user is in control and if he requests such a download we’ll inform him how much space the collection will take on his device and if he is fine with that to confirm his demand. In this case the total amount of data of the app can exceed the standard 750 MB, actually it is not limited but the user is in control and is in the ability to manage the content that’s stored on his device, and to remove certain content to free up space.

We also offer the possibility for the publisher to publish in a full offline mode.

This way all content of all collections will be downloaded completely when first starting up the app. This is ideal for users who sometimes don’t have an internet connection when they are on the road. Every time a user goes back to the app and he’s online, a check will be performed if there is new and/or updated content that needs to be downloaded. The most common use cases are sales apps and apps of service manuals.

Bandwidth

The Twixl Distribution Platform infrastructure uses the Microsoft Azure platform, and has five different storage locations around the world. In addition, we use the Akamai CDN (Content Delivery Network) to ensure optimal download speeds from any location worldwide.

Article-based publishing is very bandwidth friendly because the reader only downloads what he reads, which is often not all of the available content in a publication or app.

Video content integrated in InDesign offers an option for streaming from our platform instead of downloading. You will need to evaluate whether streaming is the best option for you or if embedding would work better.

The bandwidth volume we offer is sufficient for about 95% of our customers. But in case you run out of bandwidth, you will notified in time. You’ll receive a warning  when 75%, 90% and 100% of your volume has been used. You can then purchase extra bandwidth as required at the price of 750 € / 850 $ per 5 TB.

Bandwidth that is purchased remains valid as long as you have an active subscription for Twixl Publisher. So if you don’t use all of it during the year, it will remain available for the next year.

Analytics

Twixl Publisher allows you to gather analytics information for your app.

We offer built-in analytics for all apps on the Twixl Distribution Platform. Twixl analytics are available on an app level, but also on an article and collection/issue level. They allow you to have a good understanding of how readers interact with your content.

Analytics data can also be exported as a .xls file or, using our API, you can even integrate with your CRM solution and automatically extract analytics data. Issue-based apps also support the use of Google Analytics.

Push notifications

You can send push notifications to all readers of your app, either when you are publishing new content or whenever you feel the need to get in touch with them. The number of push notifications you can send is unlimited.

Entitlement

Entitlement is available as an extra paid option for Twixl Publisher One, Four or Unlimited apps. We offer both built-in entitlement or restricted access options as well as the ability to interface with your own ‘custom’ entitlement server.  This feature lets you integrate access for a subscriber or user database in your app. It allows you to determine who gets access to which content in your app. 

Entitlement in app store apps

Frequently publishers may want to provide print subscribers of a publication with free access to otherwise paid content in an app. Publishers can also offer certain content to a specific audience and so increase the value proposition and advertising value of their publication. Obvious segmentation criteria are e.g. regional content, language-specific content, etc. Other entitlement options allow the use of e.g. an access key or a promo code to claim free access to a particular publication.

Entitlement in in-house apps

The special "Users & Groups" entitlement option is targeted at companies that deploy apps in-house either by distributing an app internally using Apple's Developer Enterprise Program, or by publishing an app on the App Store with "restricted access".
Some publications are only meant to target a closed group, e.g. medical publications, reseller information, etc. Using entitlement allows a company to publish to specific target groups without making the content available to the public. Only entitled users that the company has defined will be allowed access.
Different groups can be defined so that each group may have access to different publications.
It is also possible to track analytics by entitlement token and so to analyze the behavior of every entitled user.

Custom entitlement server

The Twixl Distribution Platform provides built-in support for a number of specific use cases for entitlements, but integration with a custom (external) entitlement server is also possible. In most cases, integrating direct entitlement will require some custom development to provide for the connection between the Twixl Distribution Platform and the publisher’s database of users/subscribers.

Technical documentation about how to integrate entitlements is available here.

Integration API

Integration API

Twixl Publisher lets you integrate with different editorial systems or basically any CMS so you can push your content directly from your solution to the Twixl Distribution Platform and thus into your app.

The “Integration API” option allows you to integrate with a number of solutions that we support out of the box.
Canvasflow / TruEdit / vjoon K4  / WoodWing Inception

Using our API, any type of CMS could be setup to push content to the Twixl Distribution Platform.

Some custom development or help from a local integrator may be required to achieve this.

The Integration API is available as an extra paid option

Automated Content Sources

Another way to integrate an external content source in an app on the Twixl Distribution Platform is by pulling content from an RSS feed. Any RSS feed can be integrated into your app and generate a collection of feed content items. This can be a standard web site feed (like WordPress, Drupal, etc.) or also a YouTube or Vimeo channel. It is a very easy and effective way to enhance your app.

Register for a free Twixl Distribution Platform account

Create your own test multi-issue application and test the different features the Twixl Distribution Platform (TDP) is offering.
Contact us if you would like to extended your test period.

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