Twilio’s new tools will let anyone add live video and audio to their apps

Twilio LiveVideo and Audio Streaming for Apps

The suite includes a way to turn live video and audio from services like Periscope or Facebook Live into a cloud-based live recording. That way it can be used as a “media service” in an app like LiveChat, for example, or a way to build a custom live visual component for Instagram. The audio stream could also be used for a bot that can interact with you and a remote listener. Using Twilio Live, developers can track user interaction with a live stream using Twilio Insights. Twilio offers a dashboard that lets developers see which users are currently watching a live stream, and even allows them to see which users have unregistered to watch the stream. Twilio provides an API to enable streaming audio and video of both people and things, and it also supports any protocol you’d like.

what is Twilio?

and Yield — “The two new tools focus on audio and video chat,” according to a Twilio spokesperson. Twilio has a reputation of only helping developers do text message-based stuff, and it’s likely that Live is meant to bridge the gap between that technology and one that supports video and audio. This is consistent with Twilio’s mission: to connect all the devices people use to the world’s communications services. Twilio launched API livestreaming, its first major product, in 2016. “We’re seeing it on PCs, in the office, in the car, in the bedroom,” Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson recently told TechCrunch. But why live video/audio now?

The Latest Product from Twilio

Twilio’s business is helping developers send texts, phone calls, and WhatsApp messages to customers — but what if you could do those same things with an Apple Watch or AirPods? Twilio does that now, and today the company is also launching Twilio Integrations — a suite of developer tools that let developers embed capabilities like SMS, call centers, or even security notifications into their apps. According to Twilio, there are already about a billion app downloads a month. If there’s an opportunity to innovate by helping developers embed these voice-enabled and video-powered features, then Twilio is in the perfect position to do that. In addition to offering its own streaming tools, Twilio has become increasingly acquisitive.

Why You Should Care

Twilio’s ability to connect voice and text messages to calls has been one of the company’s most popular products since its founding in 2008. Twilio has even begun making “native apps” that run on third-party platforms like Android and Windows. Given Twilio’s massive developer community, it makes sense that the company would eventually try to make the experience of interacting with a developer’s apps and their developers less intrusive. And if you’re an iPhone user and have wanted to create a Snapchat app that could let your friend share a live video or broadcast you a live video of them playing a game with you on a screen, it sounds like Twilio Live could make that a possibility. Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson explained the thinking behind the move in a blog post.

How to Get Started

If you’re a developer, here are some of the ways you can sign up for the beta: For more information on how Twilio Live will work, we’ve got a detailed post here. Twilio, founded in 2007, has raised $266.8 million in funding, including a $70 million round in 2016. The company counts a number of big names, including its first investor, Sequoia Capital, as well as AT&T, Google, Comcast, Barclays and Capital One among its customers. Twilio’s last round of funding valued the company at $2.2 billion.


Twilio has a history of figuring out how to feed into and add value to the tools developers already use, so this isn’t a huge surprise. The real kicker is that this could actually be a better tool than what’s currently out there — provided the API is improved and this functionality is easier to set up. Remember, Twilio’s bread and butter is working with developers to help them create apps. If developers are already going to want to be able to stream in real-time to social channels, what are the limits for Twilio Live and other livestreaming services? The answer is likely that Twilio will want to be able to integrate into social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, without having to change anything but how a developer configures the service.

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