Twilio isn’t quite done sharing news at its SIGNAL conference. The company has introduced a new API that gives developers a single way to orchestrate notification delivery across SMS, iOS and Android apps, and even messaging applications. Twilio Notify, as it’s called, is billed as letting businesses reach customers in the most preferred fashion.
With so many ways to connect with customers, it can be a complicated process to make sure that the right notifications go out. Email was once the standard way to contact people, but that changed to include SMS and MMS before the rise of mobile apps. And what about with messaging services such as Facebook Messenger and Viber? Factoring all of these applications into a communications scheme can be mind-numbing, so Twilio created Notify to essentially consolidate everything into a few lines of code.
Twilio Notify is more than just one API to rule all notifications. It employs intelligence to determine when and how notifications should be sent, based on your preference, group membership, the channel or device that was last used, when you’re active, and the rate of successful delivery. In addition, it enables developers to segment their users — Do you want to send messages to all of them or just to those in California? Or perhaps you only want the ones who have purchased a particular product in the state?
While Notify can help brands engage more with their customers, it’s a one-way street. Twilio vice president of product marketing Manav Khurana explained that if people want to reply to messages, that communication can be handled by services like Zendesk and Sonar, which can facilitate conversation.
Right now, Twilio’s newest API supports notifications through global SMS, Apple Push Notification service (APNs), Google Cloud Messaging, Facebook Messenger, and Viber. Khurana said that the company was working on adding WeChat “shortly.”
Although the API unifies notifications, a more piecemeal approach is also possible, should developers prefer that. Distribution of messages through SMS and MMS has been available for a while, and integration with Facebook Messenger came about in April.
This API is being launched in response to demand, according to Khurana: “Our customers want to be able to reach their customers across different messaging channels. We’re hearing this loud and clear.” He sees Twilio transforming into a “messaging hub for businesses.”
Twilio Notify comes just a day after the company announced the launch of programmable SIM cards and a new marketplace filled with third-party add-ons.