Google has launched a special service to allow people in Egypt to get round the Internet ban imposed by the government and send Twitter messages by simply dialling a phone number and leaving a voicemail.
Requiring no Internet connection to work, the new speak-to-tweet service uses Google’s speech-to-text feature to change the voice message into text and then instantly tweet it using the hashtag #egypt.
The announcement comes in response to the Egyptian government cutting off access to the Internet and disabling text messaging services in the country amid anti-government protests.
In a blog post, co-founder of SayNow Ujjwal Singh and AbdelKarim Mardini, Google’s Product Manager for the Middle East & North Africa said the service is already live and that, to tweet, people can leave a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers: +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855.
People can also listen to the messages by dialling the same numbers or visiting twitter.com/speak2tweet.
Singh and Mardini said that Speak-to-tweet was developed by a small team of engineers from Google, Twitter and the recently acquired SayNow.
“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,” they added.