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Sending Images via SMS with Filepicker and Twilio


If you are a web developer, you know that handling file uploads is not fun. You are either spending time dealing with files and permissions, or learning how your language handles MIME multipart encoding. Then there is the problem of dealing with large file uploads and cross-browser compatibility.

Even when you get the basics figured out, all that you have working is something that allows your users to upload files from their computer. If you want to enable your users to choose photos and files from a service like Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive or Flickr, well, that’s a whole other story. Integrating these different APIs, normalizing response formats, and maintaining these integrations can be time consuming.

Does this sound familiar? If it does, you will be excited to learn that has made this process a whole lot easier. provides APIs to connect, process, and store any piece of content in your web application. For example if you are building an application that needs to send files or photos to your users via SMS, then you can use with Twilio to make this happen. Let’s explore how to build this.

With, here is the bare minimum HTML that you will need to write to enable someone to send a link to an image via SMS:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head><title>SMS an image</title></head>
<form action="/" method="POST">
Cell phone number: <input name="phone_number" type="text" />
Image to send via SMS: <input name="file" type="filepicker" />
<button type="submit">Send File</button>
<script src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
filepicker.setKey('{{ filepicker_api_key }}');

As you look over the HTML, pay special attention to the tag and the two

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