What is Twilio and How Do Twilio APIs Work?

The easiest way to think about Twilio is “AWS for telecom”. In fact, Twilio APIs are changing how businesses communicate with customers. Learn how they work.

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What is Twilio and How Do Twilio APIs Work?

If you have used Lyft, Airbnb, or Netflix, you have probably used Twilio. In fact, Twilio powers communications for over 40,000 businesses around the world.

So what is Twilio? Simply put, Twilio is a developer platform for communications. Software teams use Twilio APIs to add capabilities like voice, video, and messaging to their applications. This enables businesses to provide the right communications experience for their customers. Behind Twilio APIs is a Super Network, a software layer that connects and optimizes communications networks around the world. This is what allows your users to reliably call and message anyone anywhere.

With Twilio, you can reach customers in the ways they prefer, and engage with them effectively using context related to that interaction. As customer experience can increasingly make or break your brand, programmable communications has become more crucial than ever to the success of businesses today.

Hear from Twilio Co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson on how Twilio was started and plans for its future, in this conversation with Recode’s Ina Fried at Code Enterprise conference.

The Twilio Cloud Communications Platform

Twilio has taken the global telecom network and turned it into a cloud communications platform with these capabilities and more:


API and SDKs to build calling capabilities within web and mobile apps. Connect to landlines, mobile devices or even WebRTC clients to make calls from apps or power multinational call centers.


Real-time video infrastructure and SDKs to embed video collaboration and context-sharing into your web or mobile app. A global infrastructure that handles signaling, registration, and media relay.


API and SDKs to send and receive SMS, MMS, and IP messages globally from your web and mobile app, and use intelligent delivery features to ensure messages get through.


Two-factor authentication service to strengthen—and even replace—traditional username and password login for websites, SaaS products, and mobile apps.


Global carrier connectivity services made simple and available instantly with no upfront contracts. Local and toll-free phone numbers around the globe along with SIP connectivity made available as APIs.

Monitoring and Support

Console to see every operational detail of your Twilio accounts and applications. Expert help when you need it.

How does Twilio work?

How Does Twilio Work

Resources to learn more

Stories from Twilio Customers

What can you do with Twilio?