Google unveils Web-free 'tweeting' in Egypt move

Jan 31, 2011
Egyptian demonstrators gather at dusk in Tahrir Square in Cairo. 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, 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," 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 , 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 .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 , the Noor Group, went down on Monday, according to US 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.

Explore further: Say Ello to the new privacy debate on social media

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Twitter links to LinkedIn

Nov 10, 2009

Twitter on Tuesday linked to LinkedIn, letting people share updates and tweets between the hot microblogging service and the career-oriented online social networking website.

Egypt bans international Internet voice calls

Mar 23, 2010

Egypt has banned international calls made through mobile Internet connections, one of Egypt's top three mobile phone operators said on Tuesday, which would include internet Skype calls.

Google buys SayNow, fflick

Jan 26, 2011

Google ramped up its investment in online entertainment Wednesday with the purchases of a startup devoted to movie talk and another that connects celebrities with fans.

Recommended for you

Say Ello to the new privacy debate on social media

Sep 29, 2014

Ello is new social networking space on the web that is receiving a lot of attention of late – so much that it's caused a few problems with the website out of action from time to time. ...

Post-Snowden, iPhone 6 encryption fans safety debate

Sep 28, 2014

Encryption technology in the iPhone 6 has taken root in a scales-of-justice debate between privacy supporters and public safety officials. Apple is using a more advanced encryption technology.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_Kob
1 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2011
Too bad they can't read this...
frajo
not rated yet Feb 01, 2011
Too bad they can't read this...
No problem; they view Al Jazeera.