Google has launched a service for people in Egypt to send Twitter messages just by dialling a phone number. The speak-to-tweet service requires no Internet connection.
Last night the last ISP operating in the country was closed down as clashes between protesters and government forces intensified. Mobile phone networks throughout the country were also closed down.
News may yet filter out through use of old-fangled fixed-line telephones. And Google's new service helps by converting spoken messages into tweets.
It just so happens that last week the search engine acquired a company SayNow, whose engineers worked with a team from both Google and Twitter to get the service up and running.
Borged SayNow co-founder Ujjwal Singh blogged of the service from his new home: "It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. "
No Internet connection is required to use the service. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or can them at twitter.com/speak2tweet.
"We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there," the post concludes.
All they have to do is find out about it first.