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Twilio has launched a new feature that helps developers deal with pesky answering machines and voice mail. The cloud communications company has created an answering machine detection (AMD) option available for those using its Twilio Programmable Voice service.

Developers can use AMD in one of two scenarios: to notify the caller when someone actually answers or to tell them when the answering machine greeting is over so a message can be left.

“This new AMD enables you to create the best possible customer experience, while gathering valuable data about how often your calls are picked up by humans or machines,” wrote Andrew Jordan, a product manager at Twilio, in a blog post. “For outbound sales and marketing contact centers, it nearly eliminates the time-wasting experience of an agent picking up a call only to hear an answering machine message.”

The introduction of this feature may not be impactful to the individual developer and their apps, but as Twilio seeks to target more companies in the enterprise, this could be a small but significant feature that saves money in the long term.

But AMD isn’t free to use, as Twilio charges $0.0075 per call when the feature is enabled “and the called party picks up.” There’s no charge for a busy or failed call. It’s also only available as a public beta in the United States and Canada, though there are plans to make it available in the United Kingdom and other countries.

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