Google, Twitter Build Speak-to-Tweet for Egypt

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-02-01
 
 
 

Google and Twitter have teamed up to create a speak-to-tweet service for citizens in Egypt, where the Internet has gone dark.

Tweeting via speech is simple and requires no Internet connection. Users may tweet by calling (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and leaving a voice mail message.

The service will blast out the tweet using the hashtag #egypt.  People can listen to the messages by dialing the phone numbers or going to http://twitter.com/#!/speak2tweet.

The service was created by Google and its new SayNow startup, which the search engine acquired last week to bring social applications into its Google Voice phone-management platform.

SayNow, which has more than 15 million users, provides voice messaging, one-on-one conversations and group calls to be integrated into applications for Facebook and Twitter, as well as the Android and iPhone platforms.

Noor Group's DSL service, which provides Internet connections for the Egyptian Stock Exchange and other big brands, is being shut down amid political and civil unrest, according to TechCrunch.

Google, SayNow and Twitter are trying to help Egyptians maintain communication and connections with each other, as well as the rest of the world in the face of the information blackout.

"Like many people, we've been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground," explained Ujjwal Singh, SayNow co-founder, and AbdelKarim Mardini, product manager for Google in the Middle East and North Africa.

"We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there."

This is hardly the first time Google has jumped to provide resources to assuage world problems.

The company has used its Google Maps technology to provide information about earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, as well as for the Gulf oil spill in the United States.


Rocket Fuel