Google unveils Web-free 'tweeting' in Egypt move
Tuesday 01 February 2011
Google, in response to the Internet blockade in Egypt, said Monday that it had created a way to post messages to microblogging service Twitter by making telephone calls.
Google worked with Twitter and freshly acquired SayNow, a startup specializing in social online voice platforms, to make it possible for anyone to "tweet" by leaving a message at any of three telephone numbers.
"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," Google product manager Abdel-Karim Mardini and SayNow co-founder Ujjwal Singh said in a blog post.
"Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service - the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection," they said.
Voice mail messages left at +16504194196; +390662207294 or +97316199855 will instantly be converted into text messages, referred to as tweets, and posted at Twitter with an identifying "hashtag" of #egypt.
Twitter hashtags are intended as search terms so people can more easily find comments related to particular topics or events.
People can call the same numbers to listen to messages or hear them online at twitter.com/speak2tweet.
"We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time," said Singh and Mardini. "Our thoughts are with everyone there."
Google, meanwhile, declined to comment on reports that one of its Egypt-based marketing executives, Wael Ghonim, has been missing since late Friday.
"We care deeply about the safety of our employees, but to protect their privacy, we don't comment on them individually," a spokesman for the California Internet giant said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.
Egypt's last working Internet service provider, the Noor Group, went down on Monday, according to US Web monitoring company Renesys, leaving the crisis-torn nation completely offline.
Egypt's four main Internet service providers - Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat Misr - cut off international access to their customers on Thursday after days of protests against President Hosni Mubarak.
Life & Style blogs
Holocaust Memorial Day: 70 years since Auschwitz liberation, these are the stories of survivors
Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
Snapchat got rid of the Best Friends feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
Food secrets: the good, the bad...and the faeces
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 4 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunity to join a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: BI Developer (Business In...
£Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Mac Operator / Artworker to ...
£Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Digital Content Designer / W...