Send SMS and MMS Messages in Python

In this guide, we'll show you how to use Twilio's Programmable SMS to send SMS and MMS messages in your Python web application.

The code snippets in this guide use the Flask web framework and the Twilio Python SDK

Sound like a good time?  Let's get started!

Outgoing SMS Diagram

Sign up for a Twilio Account

To use the Twilio REST API, you need an account. Signing up for a free Twilio account is easy. Once you've signed up, head over to your Console and grab your Account SID and your Auth Token. You will need those for the code samples below.

Purchase an SMS Capable Phone Number

Sending SMS messages requires an SMS capable phone number. You can browse the available phone numbers in the Console. Be sure that the phone number you buy is SMS capable. When you search, you can check the box to filter available numbers to those that are SMS capable:

Search for SMS Capable Number

When viewing the search results, you can see the capability icons in the list of available numbers:

Buy SMS Capable Number

Armed with a Twilio phone number, you can now start sending messages to mobile devices.

Send an SMS Message in Python via the REST API

Sending an outgoing SMS message requires sending an HTTP POST to the Messages resource URI. Using the Twilio Python Helper Library, you can create a new instance of the Message resource and specify the To, From, and Body parameters for your message.

Loading Code Samples...
Language
SDK Version:
  • 5.x
  • 6.x
Format:
  • JSON
  • XML
from twilio.rest import TwilioRestClient 
 
# put your own credentials here 
ACCOUNT_SID = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" 
AUTH_TOKEN = "your_auth_token" 
 
client = TwilioRestClient(ACCOUNT_SID, AUTH_TOKEN) 
 
client.messages.create(
    to="+15558675309", 
    from_="+15017250604", 
    body="This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?", 
)
from twilio.rest import Client

# put your own credentials here
account_sid = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX"
auth_token = "your_auth_token"

client = Client(account_sid, auth_token)

client.messages.create(
    to="+15558675309",
    from_="+15017250604",
    body="This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?")
{
  "sid": "MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937",
  "date_created": "Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:07:03 +0000",
  "date_updated": "Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:07:03 +0000",
  "date_sent": null,
  "account_sid": "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX",
  "to": "+15558675309",
  "from": "+15017250604",
  "body": "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
  "status": "queued",
  "num_segments": "1",
  "num_media": "0",
  "direction": "outbound-api",
  "api_version": "2010-04-01",
  "price": null,
  "price_unit": "USD",
  "error_code": null,
  "error_message": null,
  "uri": "/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937.json",
}
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<TwilioResponse>
<Message>
  <Sid>MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937</Sid>
  <DateCreated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateCreated>
  <DateUpdated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateUpdated>
  <DateSent/>
  <AccountSid>ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX</AccountSid>
  <To>+15558675309</To>
  <From>+15017250604</From>
  <Body>This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?</Body>
  <Status>queued</Status>
  <NumSegments>1</NumSegments>
  <NumMedia>0</NumMedia>
  <Direction>outbound-api</Direction>
  <ApiVersion>2010-04-01</ApiVersion>
  <Price/>
  <PriceUnit>USD</PriceUnit>
  <ErrorCode/>
  <ErrorMessage/>
  <Uri>/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMf1150fe5baf04104a39c3f311a053e4e.xml</Uri>
  <SubresourceUris/>
</Message>
</TwilioResponse>
Send an SMS using the Programmable SMS API

If you want to send a message to several recipients, you could simply create an array of recipients and iterate through each phone number in that array. You can send as many messages as you like, as fast as you like and Twilio will queue them up for delivery at your prescribed rate limit. See our guide on how to Send Bulk SMS Messages for more tips.

Send a Message with Media (MMS)

It's also easy to send an outgoing MMS using Twilio. To send an MMS, you also make an HTTP POST request to the Messages resource but this time specify a parameter for the URL of media, such as an image.

MMS messages can only be sent and received by numbers having MMS capability. You can check the capabilities of numbers in the account portal or query the Available Phone Numbers resource to search for Twilio numbers that are MMS enabled.

Loading Code Samples...
Language
SDK Version:
  • 5.x
  • 6.x
Format:
  • JSON
  • XML
from twilio.rest import TwilioRestClient 
 
# put your own credentials here 
ACCOUNT_SID = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" 
AUTH_TOKEN = "your_auth_token" 
 
client = TwilioRestClient(ACCOUNT_SID, AUTH_TOKEN) 
 
client.messages.create(
    to="+15558675309", 
    from_="+15017250604", 
    body="This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?", 
    media_url="https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2899/14341091933_1e92e62d12_b.jpg", 
)
from twilio.rest import Client

# put your own credentials here
account_sid = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX"
auth_token = "your_auth_token"

client = Client(account_sid, auth_token)

client.messages.create(
    to="+15558675309",
    from_="+15017250604",
    body="This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
    media_url="https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2899/14341091933_1e92e62d12_b.jpg")
{
  "sid": "MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937",
  "date_created": "Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:07:03 +0000",
  "date_updated": "Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:07:03 +0000",
  "date_sent": null,
  "account_sid": "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX",
  "to": "+15558675309",
  "from": "+15017250604",
  "body": "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
  "status": "queued",
  "num_segments": "1",
  "num_media": "1",
  "direction": "outbound-api",
  "api_version": "2010-04-01",
  "price": null,
  "price_unit": "USD",
  "error_code": null,
  "error_message": null,
  "uri": "/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937.json",
  "subresource_uris": {
    "media": "/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937/Media.json"
  }
}
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<TwilioResponse>
<Message>
  <Sid>MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937</Sid>
  <DateCreated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateCreated>
  <DateUpdated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateUpdated>
  <DateSent/>
  <AccountSid>ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX</AccountSid>
  <To>+15558675309</To>
  <From>+15017250604</From>
  <Body>This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?</Body>
  <Status>queued</Status>
  <NumSegments>1</NumSegments>
  <NumMedia>1</NumMedia>
  <Direction>outbound-api</Direction>
  <ApiVersion>2010-04-01</ApiVersion>
  <Price/>
  <PriceUnit>USD</PriceUnit>
  <ErrorCode/>
  <ErrorMessage/>
  <Uri>/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMf1150fe5baf04104a39c3f311a053e4e.xml</Uri>
  <SubresourceUris>
    <Media>/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMf1150fe5baf04104a39c3f311a053e4e/Media.xml</Media>
  </SubresourceUris>
</Message>
</TwilioResponse>
Send a Message with an Image URL

For more information about sending SMS and MMS messages, see the REST API Reference.

Send a Message During a Phone Call (Voice TwiML)

You can also send SMS when someone calls your Twilio number. The <Sms> verb is actually a valid response to an incoming call. Here's some code that generates the necessary TwiML instructions:

Loading Code Samples...
Language
SDK Version:
  • 5.x
  • 6.x
Format:
  • XML
from flask import Flask, request
from twilio import twiml


app = Flask(__name__)

@app.route("/voice", methods=['GET', 'POST'])
def voice():
    """Respond to incoming phone calls with a text message."""
    # Start our TwiML response
    resp = twiml.Response()

    # Read a message aloud to the caller
    resp.say("Hello! You will get an SMS message soon.")

    # Also tell Twilio to send a text message to the caller
    resp.sms("This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?")

    return str(resp)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run(debug=True)
from flask import Flask, request
from twilio.twiml.voice_response import VoiceResponse


app = Flask(__name__)

@app.route("/voice", methods=['GET', 'POST'])
def voice():
    """Respond to incoming phone calls with a text message."""
    # Start our TwiML response
    resp = VoiceResponse()

    # Read a message aloud to the caller
    resp.say("Hello! You will get an SMS message soon.")

    # Also tell Twilio to send a text message to the caller
    resp.sms("This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?")

    return str(resp)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run(debug=True)
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Response>
    <Say>Hello! You will get an SMS message soon.</Say>
    <Sms>This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?</Sms>
</Response>
Send SMS during voice call

If you were to visit that webhook url in your browser, you would see TwiML that looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Response>
    <Say>Hello! You will get an SMS message soon.</Say>
    <Sms>This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?</Sms>
</Response>

Save a publicly-accessible URL to return that XML. Then, configure that URL to be the Voice URL of your Twilio phone number.

Call that number from a mobile phone — you should hear a message and get a text message in response.

And with that, you've sent both an SMS and MMS with Twilio's SMS API and Helper Library.  Next, try one of the other Python quickstarts we've got on the sidebar - we can't wait to see what you build!

Andrew Baker
Jarod Reyes
David Prothero
Paul Kamp

Need some help?

We all do sometimes; code is hard. Get help now from our support team, or lean on the wisdom of the crowd browsing the Twilio tag on Stack Overflow.

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Loading Code Samples...
SDK Version:
  • 5.x
  • 6.x
Format:
  • JSON
  • XML
from twilio.rest import TwilioRestClient 
 
# put your own credentials here 
ACCOUNT_SID = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" 
AUTH_TOKEN = "your_auth_token" 
 
client = TwilioRestClient(ACCOUNT_SID, AUTH_TOKEN) 
 
client.messages.create(
    to="+15558675309", 
    from_="+15017250604", 
    body="This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?", 
)
from twilio.rest import Client

# put your own credentials here
account_sid = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX"
auth_token = "your_auth_token"

client = Client(account_sid, auth_token)

client.messages.create(
    to="+15558675309",
    from_="+15017250604",
    body="This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?")
{
  "sid": "MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937",
  "date_created": "Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:07:03 +0000",
  "date_updated": "Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:07:03 +0000",
  "date_sent": null,
  "account_sid": "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX",
  "to": "+15558675309",
  "from": "+15017250604",
  "body": "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
  "status": "queued",
  "num_segments": "1",
  "num_media": "0",
  "direction": "outbound-api",
  "api_version": "2010-04-01",
  "price": null,
  "price_unit": "USD",
  "error_code": null,
  "error_message": null,
  "uri": "/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937.json",
}
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<TwilioResponse>
<Message>
  <Sid>MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937</Sid>
  <DateCreated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateCreated>
  <DateUpdated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateUpdated>
  <DateSent/>
  <AccountSid>ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX</AccountSid>
  <To>+15558675309</To>
  <From>+15017250604</From>
  <Body>This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?</Body>
  <Status>queued</Status>
  <NumSegments>1</NumSegments>
  <NumMedia>0</NumMedia>
  <Direction>outbound-api</Direction>
  <ApiVersion>2010-04-01</ApiVersion>
  <Price/>
  <PriceUnit>USD</PriceUnit>
  <ErrorCode/>
  <ErrorMessage/>
  <Uri>/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMf1150fe5baf04104a39c3f311a053e4e.xml</Uri>
  <SubresourceUris/>
</Message>
</TwilioResponse>
SDK Version:
  • 5.x
  • 6.x
Format:
  • JSON
  • XML
from twilio.rest import TwilioRestClient 
 
# put your own credentials here 
ACCOUNT_SID = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" 
AUTH_TOKEN = "your_auth_token" 
 
client = TwilioRestClient(ACCOUNT_SID, AUTH_TOKEN) 
 
client.messages.create(
    to="+15558675309", 
    from_="+15017250604", 
    body="This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?", 
    media_url="https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2899/14341091933_1e92e62d12_b.jpg", 
)
from twilio.rest import Client

# put your own credentials here
account_sid = "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX"
auth_token = "your_auth_token"

client = Client(account_sid, auth_token)

client.messages.create(
    to="+15558675309",
    from_="+15017250604",
    body="This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
    media_url="https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2899/14341091933_1e92e62d12_b.jpg")
{
  "sid": "MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937",
  "date_created": "Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:07:03 +0000",
  "date_updated": "Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:07:03 +0000",
  "date_sent": null,
  "account_sid": "ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX",
  "to": "+15558675309",
  "from": "+15017250604",
  "body": "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?",
  "status": "queued",
  "num_segments": "1",
  "num_media": "1",
  "direction": "outbound-api",
  "api_version": "2010-04-01",
  "price": null,
  "price_unit": "USD",
  "error_code": null,
  "error_message": null,
  "uri": "/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937.json",
  "subresource_uris": {
    "media": "/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937/Media.json"
  }
}
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<TwilioResponse>
<Message>
  <Sid>MMc781610ec0b3400c9e0cab8e757da937</Sid>
  <DateCreated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateCreated>
  <DateUpdated>Mon, 19 Oct 2015 07:09:09 +0000</DateUpdated>
  <DateSent/>
  <AccountSid>ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX</AccountSid>
  <To>+15558675309</To>
  <From>+15017250604</From>
  <Body>This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?</Body>
  <Status>queued</Status>
  <NumSegments>1</NumSegments>
  <NumMedia>1</NumMedia>
  <Direction>outbound-api</Direction>
  <ApiVersion>2010-04-01</ApiVersion>
  <Price/>
  <PriceUnit>USD</PriceUnit>
  <ErrorCode/>
  <ErrorMessage/>
  <Uri>/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMf1150fe5baf04104a39c3f311a053e4e.xml</Uri>
  <SubresourceUris>
    <Media>/2010-04-01/Accounts/ACXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/Messages/MMf1150fe5baf04104a39c3f311a053e4e/Media.xml</Media>
  </SubresourceUris>
</Message>
</TwilioResponse>
SDK Version:
  • 5.x
  • 6.x
Format:
  • XML
from flask import Flask, request
from twilio import twiml


app = Flask(__name__)

@app.route("/voice", methods=['GET', 'POST'])
def voice():
    """Respond to incoming phone calls with a text message."""
    # Start our TwiML response
    resp = twiml.Response()

    # Read a message aloud to the caller
    resp.say("Hello! You will get an SMS message soon.")

    # Also tell Twilio to send a text message to the caller
    resp.sms("This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?")

    return str(resp)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run(debug=True)
from flask import Flask, request
from twilio.twiml.voice_response import VoiceResponse


app = Flask(__name__)

@app.route("/voice", methods=['GET', 'POST'])
def voice():
    """Respond to incoming phone calls with a text message."""
    # Start our TwiML response
    resp = VoiceResponse()

    # Read a message aloud to the caller
    resp.say("Hello! You will get an SMS message soon.")

    # Also tell Twilio to send a text message to the caller
    resp.sms("This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?")

    return str(resp)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    app.run(debug=True)
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<Response>
    <Say>Hello! You will get an SMS message soon.</Say>
    <Sms>This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?</Sms>
</Response>