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Twilio SMS and MMS Ruby Quickstart

Overview

Twilio Messaging allows you to:

  1. Receive SMS and MMS messages to your Twilio phone numbers and reply back with SMS and MMS messages
  2. Send SMS and MMS messages using Twilio's REST API
  3. Track SMS conversations
  4. Send SMS messages during phone calls

Receive and reply to SMS and MMS messages

When you buy a SMS-enabled Twilio phone number, you can associate that phone number with an SMS URL. When someone sends a text message to that phone number, Twilio makes an HTTP request to your URL with the body of the message and the sender's phone number. You can then respond to the SMS by returning a reply message in the HTTP response to Twilio.

Send SMS and MMS messages via the REST API

You can also send SMS and MMS messages using Twilio's REST API. To send a message, make an HTTP POST to Twilio with the body of the message and the phone number you want to send it to. SMS messages must be sent from Twilio SMS-enabled phone numbers due to the architecture of the global SMS network.

Track SMS conversations

Using standard HTTP cookies, you can share state across multiple messages allowing you to treat separate messages between any pair of phone numbers as a conversation, and store data about the conversation in the cookie for future reference.

Send SMS messages during phone calls

You can also use the TwiML <Sms> verb inside your existing Twilio voice calls to send a message during a phone conversation.

Frequently asked questions

For specific details on what you can and can't accomplish using Twilio SMS please refer to the SMS FAQ

Before you start

This tutorial assumes you have a Ruby development environment with Sinatra and the twilio-ruby helper library. If you don't have these yet, please see our post on setting up your environment.

With that out of the way, let's go on to the next step.


Next: Send SMS via the Twilio API »