Nixle today announced the launch of its next-generation Nixle Connect platform at no cost to government agencies, which have used the company's secure technology to leverage social media and text messaging to communicate directly with their constituencies.

Previously, Nixle provided governments with a free service that provided limited usage and feature functionality and a paid version of the solution that included unlimited usage and a larger feature set. With the unveiling of new features associated with the launch of Nixle Connect, the company has decided to let governments access its next-generation version of the product for free and with no usage limitations, Nixle CEO Eric Liu said.

Instead of offering a paid version of the messaging platform, which had "lower adoption levels," Nixle will focus its sales efforts on other products targeted at the same government agencies that will use Nixle Connect, Liu said.

"The idea is to make this available to the entire country," Liu said. "If they're interested in augmenting the product [with Nixle's paid products], they can. But, of course, they're under no obligation.

"I think it's a model that makes sense for both the country and for Nixle. It provides the country with a critical service and, at the same time, it provides us exposure for our business model, as well."

Nixle validates government entities before allowing them on its platform, which can only be accessed by users that complete a two-factor authentication process. More than 4,600 government agencies have adopted Nixle, which is the messaging service certified by the International Justice and Safety Networks (Nlets), according to the company.

According to the company, Nixle Connect's new features include hierarchical group communications, customizable HTML e-mail templates, embeddable public registration widgets for use on agency websites, and mobile keywords for citizen registrations.

Liu said the free service is available to government agencies immediately.

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