Using these add-ons, developers who use Twilio’s API to power the messaging features of their apps and services can easily combine Twilio’s services with those of its partners.
“This the beginning of Twilio’s marketplace,” Twilio CEO and co-founder Jeff Lawson told me. He noted that Twilio already offers developers many of the building blocks to build communication right into their apps and developers often combine these with APIs from other vendors. “What we’ve done is to allow developers to do more with less code.”
Twilio will handle the billing for its partners and developers can access their services with a single API call. For now, Twilio is working with 18 partners, including the likes of IBM Watson, NextCaller, WhitePages Pro, Mobile Commons and Payfone. For IBM, this marks the first time it offers Watson services on a third-party platform.
As Lawson told me, though, the program is open to API publishers, but the company will thoroughly vet all of the submissions. Like similar programs, the company will monetize the service on a rev-share basis and Twilio will keep 25 percent of the revenue.
So how can developers use this? Lawson noted there are currently three basic categories of integrations. Some partners will offer what he called “phone-number intelligence,” for example. This allows developers to quickly check if a number is on the do-not-call list or known for robo-dialing. Other partners will provide “message intelligence” and perform sentiment analysis on text messages, for example, while others focus on “recording intelligence” and allow you to record calls and then maybe provide sentiment analysis or transcription services based on these recordings.
These add-ons are available for Twilio’s Programmable SMS, Programmable Voice and Twilio Lookup services.
The company also today announced that one million developers have now registered for its service (though it’s unclear how many of those are active).