This quest all began back in 2009 when two environmental consultants and Swoop founders John Killoran and Matt Custer discovered the mailto link. It solved an important problem for protecting the environment. The mailto made it easy for people to respond to an email to verify that they performed an environmental task, like properly disposed of a hazardous waste or sampled a wastewater discharge point. We called them “I Swear To God Buttons” and used them in an application called Autopilot. This eliminated the password because people did not need to log into a database to document the task completion.
Then we realized passwords could be eliminated in the world of online payments. The mailto link could be used for streamlined, two-click payment experience for email marketing campaigns. Then, with the release of DomainKey Identified Mail, this frontier was expanded beyond email to qr codes, text messages, and web pages.
Our mailtos turned out to be very useful for nonprofits, enabling them to dramatically improve conversion rates in fundraising campaigns. To facilitate the integration of mailtos, we created a platform called Snowball (Snowballfundraising.com). In just the last couple of years, over 5,000 nonprofits have signed up with Snowball.
In late 2017, we had a major breakthrough. By integrating web sockets with our mailtos, we developed a smooth, intuitive online experience unlike anything we had ever seen. You simply tap the mailto link, send the message, wait a few seconds as the email account gets authenticated, and voilà, you are logged in! The fix was in: we knew we had the technology to end passwords forever. Swoop had arrived.
In early 2018, we released a beta version of Swoop, and are now creating tools to add our mailtos to the endless variety of web applications that exist today. First, we released a WordPress plugin to bring Swoop to the 74 million websites using that framework. Now we are providing model web apps for Ruby, Go, Python, Java, and other languages to make it a cinch for developers to start using Swoop. You can access these model web apps on the Developer page.
Our main goal is to enable every website to offer their customers the same convenience they experience at user-friendly sites such as Amazon. We want to see an internet where everyone with a great product or service can gain the loyalty of customers, thus assuring success. Instead of a small number of “mega” web players, we envisage an internet with millions of thriving small businesses that provide a tremendous diversity of products, along with quality of life for those who work there.
Finally, we would like you to know that all of us at Swoop are deeply committed to privacy. We don’t mine and sell data. Every bit of information that passes through our servers is secure and confidential.
We hope that Swoop can help your site function more effectively, and grow as you move forward. As we like to say, passwords suck, and Swoop is here to eliminate them.