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Twilio Channels: A New Way Reach Customers in Apps They Already Use

tw2_channels_blog

  • Use Twilio APIs to send and receive messages on multiple channels.
  • Works with Alexa, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Twitter, Viber, LINE, SendGrid, HipChat, and Kik.
  • More channels, such as WeChat and BlackBerry Messenger, coming soon.

Last year we announced a Facebook Messenger integration that let you use the Twilio APIs, docs, and developer tools you’re already familiar with to send and receive messages on Messenger. Today, we’re excited to announce the addition of eight more integrations to what we’re calling Twilio Channels. Twilio Channels is the collection of third-party integrations that let you send and receive messages on multiple channels with the Twilio APIs you already use, such as Notify, Programmable SMS, and Proxy.

Here are the integrations currently available as part of Channels and the Twilio products they work with:

Notify

Programmable SMS

Proxy

Supporting Different Chat Apps for Different Users

Previously, in order to support users across multiple messaging channels, developers would need to wrestle with variations in APIs, capabilities, and tooling. This was a complex and time-consuming process. Because of the high cost of supporting new channels it meant fewer could be added, often leaving out a user’s preferred messaging platform.

Building multi-channel messaging without Twilio Channels

Now, with Twilio Channels, developers no longer need to deal with this fragmentation in the messaging ecosystem. With one API they can support a myriad of messaging platforms that represent market leaders across multiple demographics.

Building multi-channel messaging with Twilio Channels

Using Channels, developers can give customers a better end-to-end experience using the messaging services they prefer. For example, some of the experiences you can create:

Channels + Notify

Developers can send notifications to their customers on the right device at the right time. Mic, used Channels + Notify to provide notifications for Alexa.

Channels + Proxy

Marketplaces can anonymously connect buyer and sellers using different apps into one messaging thread.

Channels + TaskRouter

Support agents can use one app to talk to customers on their chat application of choice.

How it Works

Normally Programmable SMS works like this:

curl -X "POST" \
--data-urlencode 'To=+15554440000' \
--data-urlencode 'From=+18778894546' \
--data-urlencode 'Body=Would you like to play a game?' \
-u {Account Sid}:{Auth Token} \
https://api.twilio.com/2010-04-01/Accounts/{AccountSID}/Messages.json

With Channels it works like this:

curl -X "POST" \
--data-urlencode 'To=messenger:{Facebook User ID | Phone Number}' \
--data-urlencode 'From=messenger:{Facebook Page ID}' \
--data-urlencode 'Body=Would you like to play a game?' \
-u {Account Sid}:{Auth Token} \
https://api.twilio.com/2010-04-01/Accounts/{AccountSID}/Messages.json

Note: Support for the Phone Number parameter is only available with a paid Messenger+ plan. For more info, provide us your info here and we’ll be in touch.

Wrap Up

Now with Twilio Channels, you no longer need to custom build support for every new channel your customers want to message on. With support for Facebook Messenger, Notifications for Alexa, Slack, Twitter, and more, you can now add the power of communicating across multiple channels to the Twilio API you already use. And as new channels emerge, you can trust Twilio to be there as we’ll always be on the lookout for the next hot messaging channel to add.

For the channels currently in developer preview (Alexa, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Twitter, Viber, LINE, SendGrid, HipChat, and Kik), we’re providing access to a limited number of accounts based on use case. If it’s something you’d like to learn more about and to request access to, please fill out this form and we’ll get back to you with more details if there’s a match.

We can’t wait to see what you build across multiple Channels!

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