Twilio powers a ton of New York-based apps from the multi-millionaire start-up GroupMe to the socially-minded TechCrunch Disrupt hack Joinable, which is why we end up writing about the San Francisco start-up so much. Now Twilio is offering Twilio Client, a new API that makes it easy for developers to add Skype-like capabilities into web, iPhone, and Android apps, enabling two-way calls within the apps or to landlines.
The reaction from local developers was tantamount to a Jobsian sort of “this changes everything–AGAIN.”
“Looks very good,” said independent mobile developer David Kay, who recently quit his job at Google, when Betabeat gchatted him about Twilio Client. “This is the kind of thing that GOOG should have done but didn’t because they are making money off of each call.” A pause, as he was reading about it. “Yeah, this is big. This is the kind of thing I’ve been waiting for them to announce. Really changes the game from their status as a phone company to a VOIP company. Very nice.”
Other hackers were already thinking about what they could build.
“I’m planning on adding Twilio as an option to instantly talk with other BeanSprout members,” said Alex Kehayias, founder of the business development matchmaker BeanSprout. “May be some time before I get to it, but it’s just cool I can add VoIP!”
“I was planning to do something for this. It only started today so I was going to brainstorm a bit more, but my first idea is a ‘call support’ widget like the feedback widgets like uservoice.com,” Noah Santorello wrote in an email. “Along the same vein, a JS library that parses pages for phone numbers and changes instances of them into a widget that lets you call the person, like what Skype has. Hopefully I’ll think up more interesting and cooler ideas than just ‘call me’ widgets.”
Over 40,000 developers already use Twilio for applications that interact with traditional mobile and landline telephones. But Twilio Client now allows those applications to interact directly with end-users, bypassing the public telephone network and making calls over the internet. We live in the future, folks.
“Gilt Groupe has been happily using Twilio’s flagship SMS and Voice products to enhance internal operations for some time,” Corey Maher, who heads up VoiP Engineering for Gilt Groupe, said in a statement. “We’re excited to see how Twilio Client can supercharge our customer service.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post mistakenly said Twilio Client fees are $.25 per minute; they are actually $.0025 per minute, or a quarter of a penny. Betabeat regrets the error.