The conflict within Egypt has been raging on, with a strong sense of confrontation across all levels. One of the major areas of conflict is in the media and communication sector, where Egyptian ISPs have faded out — depriving users of the possibility to communicate online. In an attempt to remedy this, Google has launched a new service titled “speak-to-tweet,” which will enable users to send Twitter messages over the phone.
Over the weekend, a dedicated Google team worked on the project, officially launching it on Monday. That hit team consisted of engineers from Google, SayNow (a newly acquired company for Google, which the company states they pursued for precisely this project), and Twitter, and their combined efforts
Users who want to make phone tweets using the new service can call one of these three numbers:
The user can then leave a voicemail that will automatically be transformed to text and broadcast on Twitter along with the #egypt hashtag. The team of engineers is also working on adding additional features to make the tool more powerful. As of yesterday (February 1st), the team added a “geographic origin” feature that would detect the approximate region the call was coming from, and would attach an appropriate hashtag to the Tweet. This means, among other things, that anyone calling in from out of the country won’t have the #egypt tag.
Additionally, users who want to hear the full, recorded messages can do so by dialing into the numbers listed above or by visiting the Speak2Tweet website.
In addition to having a staff concerned with the happenings in Egypt, Google is keeping their eye on the region to find Wael Ghonim — a Google executive who went missing at about the same time the violent protests began.