Google and Twitter Provide a Voice to Egypt
Egypt hasn't been through the best of times recently. Political trouble and strife has seen an enormous wave of protesters march through the streets, whilst its people were subjected to a nationwide internet blackout.
Ever the philanthropists though, Google teamed up with Twitter to offer those with mobile access with a short-term solution until things evened out. Egyptians were able to telephone one of three specific numbers and leave a voicemail. Twitter then sends a tweet linking to the message, alongside an 'egypt' hashtag.
"Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service, the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection ... We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time," says Ujwal Singh, co-founder of SayNow and Abdel Karim Mardini, Google's product manager for the Middle East and North Africa.
The best thing about the service was that no internet was required to make use of it or activate it. The internet went down in Egypt on Monday 31 January 2011 when providers Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Etisalat Misr and Telecom Egypt ceased operating their services. Some services have since restarted.
We hope that Egypt gets back to something like normality sooner rather than later. We are intrigued by the technology Google and Twitter have created to help out a public in need, though, and would love to see how it works. Is somebody at either company listening to the messages and personally tweeting them, or is it an entirely automatic service?
We wonder because we can see it developing further once the crisis is over, whether as a form of communications in the event of an emergency or as a new social media marketing tool for local SEO. Twitter and Google working together. Now what a combination that would be...
This blog was written over 6 months ago and Internet Marketing and SEO is an always changing industry which means the information within this blog may be out of date. Use caution when using any methods or suggestions within it.