An anonymous reader writes: A new service allows Egyptians to circumvent Internet blocks and tweet by telephone
Google has launched a service aimed at allowing Egyptians to post Twitter messages without the use of an Internet connection.
The move follows the blackout of Internet services in Egypt, amid protests demanding the ousting of the country’s president, Hosni Mubarak.
The service allows users to dial into any of three international telephone numbers and leave a voice message. The messages are instantly translated into text and posted on Twitter using the hashtag #egypt, according to Google.
Users can listen to the voice messages by dialling into the same numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.
The voice-tweet service was devised by a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company Google acquired last week.
“Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground,” wrote Google product manager AbdelKarim Mardini and SayNow co-founder Ujjwal Singh on the official Google blog. “Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service — the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.”