Why Twilio Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017

By enabling text, voice, and video communications, Twilio is helping companies from Uber to Nike give their apps a voice.

Why Twilio Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017
[Illustration: Jamie Cullen]

There’s a good chance you use Twilio’s technology daily, though that may come as a surprise. The text message saying your Uber arrived? Twilio sent it. When you lose your Netflix password? Twilio delivers the new one. The company, which went public last June and saw its third-quarter revenue jump by 62% to $72 million, sells a diverse set of cloud services that help developers program voice, message, and video communications into apps. “Companies need to support the communications their customers want to use,” says cofounder and CEO Jeff Lawson. Here’s how he’s giving businesses more options.

1. Customizable Alerts

Twilio’s new Notify product helps companies determine the best way to reach users based on their preferences, including SMS, Messenger, Apple push notification, and Google cloud-messaging service. Nike uses Notify to alert customers when a new shoe drops.

2. Simple Video Calls

Last year, Twilio began allowing developers to embed videoconferencing within any app. IBM uses the function in a new service called Bluemix that enables doctors at a specialized cancer clinic in Texas to video-chat directly with patients, eliminating long commutes for routine checkups.

3. Global Compatibility

Twilio works with more than 1,000 wireless carriers around the world, saving developers the task of coding for each network. Yelp used Twilio to build a global text-based reservation system for restaurants, and Crisis Text Line switched to Twilio’s SMS platform to expand internationally.

This article is part of our coverage of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017.


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