Over the last few years, developer-facing services like Heroku and AWS have proven immensely popular, helping reduce the hassles that programmers have to deal with. One of the biggest success stories along these lines has been Twilio, which launched back in 2008 and has raised around $15 million in funding to date.
The company does something that sounds deceptively simple: it makes baking phone calls and text messages into an app straightforward, with a handful of intuitive commands like “dial” and “say” as its basic building blocks. This API has proven to be much easier to use than the services that were used in the pre-Twilio days, and growth has surged over the last year. But there’s been one big issue: Twilio’s functionality has been severely handicapped outside of the United States.
That’s changing starting today, as Twilio begins a major rollout throughout Europe. The company is holding a special event in London this morning, where it’s announcing full Twilio service in the UK. This means that developers will be able to purchase local UK phone numbers, and they’ll be able to use call functionality (Update: SMS is currently in private beta in the UK, but is on the way).
And the rest of Europe is coming soon: a beta is launching today in Poland, France, Portugal, Austria and Denmark. And by the end fo 2011, it plans to support Italy, Romania, Greece, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Finland as well. Twilio will be gradually cycling each company through the beta program, so as the first five beta countries ‘graduate’, more will be added.
Obviously this is a big deal for developers, as it’ll help them reach a much broader user base (even developers in the US will be able to take advantage of the local phone numbers abroad).
As part of the news, Twilio is announcing that Zendesk Voice will be launching in the UK, powered by the new Twilio support.