The early versions of obvi were 100% text based with no images or video responses. While text is a super powerful tool on its own (check out our article on doing pure-text research), we enhanced obvi to support MMS messages due to requests for photo and video content.

We found that MMS messages (aka media messages) have been a challenge both within the US and internationally in ways beyond our control. In many countries, it is very uncommon to send MMS messages, and they can often be expensive. Within the US, phone carriers often cut-off, downgrade, or reject video. Some participants have disabled MMS messaging on their phones. We needed a simple, universal, obvi solution that didn't compromise the personal experience of texting.

The new participant experience is very simple:

Invited participants are sent a link to ‘complete sign-up’ by uploading their selfie

You can opt-out of this if you don’t need a selfie, but there are a lot of good reasons to do it. In addition to helping humanize the participant, it confirms their desire and ability to participate. By editing the welcome message you can always invite them to use an alternative image like an animoji or a spirit-animal if they’re not comfortable with a selfie upload.

An upload link is sent along with assignments that ask for media

If you want to ask for photos or videos as part of an assignment, turn on "enable photo/video response" in the Assignment screen. When you do this, an upload link is sent along with the assignment. Tip: we recommend that you be specific with your photo or video instructions (get more guidance on message types here).