Publishing Your Cola Bubble

Once you’ve built and tested your Cola bubble, you’ll want to distribute it to users. That’s done by publishing the bubble.

First, you’ll need to email your bubble to Cola. We’ll review the bubble and make it available to users of the Cola app.

The bubble can appear in a given user’s bubble menu within the Cola app in one of two ways:

As a promoted bubble Cola will review your submitted bubble and, if you like, consider it for placement on the bubble menu in the Cola app. All Cola users will see promoted bubbles on their bubble menu. When it comes to selecting promoted bubbles, we’ll be looking for bubbles that have a broad appeal, and are consistent with the overall Cola app.

Today’s bubble menu is suitable for around 20 entries — no more. Periodically, the bubble menu will be updated to include new bubbles, and over time the menu user experience itself will change to accommodate more bubbles.

As a private bubble Bubbles that aren’t included on the default bubble menu are accessed in a different way. These bubbles still need to be reviewed by Cola, and they still ultimately appear on the bubble menu; but the way a given user obtains them is different. The process works as follows:

  • You’ll need to mail or otherwise transmit a Cola-supplied URL to your users – specifically, to anyone user who wants to send the bubble.
  • Users will need to tap on this link on an iPhone that has the Cola app installed.
  • That link will take them to the Cola app, where they will be asked if they want to add the bubble in question to their bubble menu.
  • Once it’s been added to a given user’s menu, it will remain on the menu indefinitely.
  • Only senders, not recipients, need to add the bubble to their menu using this process. Recipients will receive private bubbles automatically, just as any other bubble, and will not need to take any special action to see them or interact with them inside their conversations. But they won’t be able to send the bubble until they follow the link and agree to add it to their bubble menu, as described above.

For the time being, all bubble packages (both Cola-developed and third-party developed) are included in the Cola application as downloaded from the App Store. However, within a short period of time, we will enable on-demand, automatic download of bubbles from our servers. This means that new bubbles will be made available independently of the app release cycle (and in a manner that is fully consistent with Apple’s App Store policies). It also means that we will be able to add new promoted bubbles to the bubble menu automatically, without requiring an app update.