SIGNAL 2019 — Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), the leading cloud communications platform, today announced Verified By Twilio to give consumers the confidence to answer the phone again. Kicking off the initiative at its annual customer and developer conference SIGNAL, Twilio is partnering with leading call identification apps to help more than 200 million consumers know exactly who is calling them and why to help them determine what calls are real and needed versus those that are unwanted. Verified By Twilio is available in private beta for testing and adoption by other carriers, mobile operating systems and apps. Twilio is working across the industry to both limit the unwanted calls that consumers get and improve answer rates for legitimate businesses and organizations.
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Verified By Twilio (Graphic: Business Wire)
According to industry reports*, Americans are answering only a little more than 50% of the calls they receive on their cell phones. Even more concerning, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey, 70% of consumers do not answer a call if the number shows up as anonymous. While that certainly can minimize the annoyance of unwanted robocalls, it also can mean that consumers don’t get the calls that they want to receive — such as those from a doctor’s office confirming an appointment, a child’s school calling about an early closure, or a bank calling about an issue with an account. One of the goals of Verified By Twilio is to make sure that consumers have the information they need to decide whether or not to answer the phone, so they don’t miss the calls they want from legitimate businesses and organizations.
“At Twilio, we want to help consumers take back their phones, so that when their phone rings, they know it’s a trusted, wanted call,” said Jeff Lawson, co-founder and chief executive officer, Twilio. “A lot of work is being done in the industry to stop unwanted calls and phone scams, and we want to ensure consumers continue to receive the wanted calls. Verified By Twilio is aimed at providing consumers with the context to know who’s calling so they answer the important and wanted calls happening in their lives, such as from doctors, schools, and banks.”
Twilio is working with industry-leading call identification apps such as CallApp, Hiya, Robokiller, and YouMail to provide consumers with more context about every phone call as it comes in. More than half of calls to consumers’ phones come from numbers that are not on the user’s contact list*, meaning that the caller information isn’t displayed when a call comes and could be blocked or sent to voicemail as future initiatives to address robocalls come to market. With Verified By Twilio, every call will clearly verify the business or organization that is calling and the reason for the call. For example, if an airline company is trying to contact a customer about a cancelled flight, as the call comes in, the consumer will see the name of the airline with a short note indicating why they are calling. With that information, that person can make the decision about stepping out of a meeting or putting another call on hold to answer this critically important call.
To power Verified By Twilio, Twilio is creating a repository to host verified information of businesses and organizations and their associated brands that will populate the screens as a call comes in. Through the programmability of the Twilio platform, businesses and organizations will also be able to dynamically assign a purpose for each call to give even further context. Verified By Twilio will also help ensure that calls are being placed by legitimate businesses and organizations in order to combat spoofing. Through Verified By Twilio, businesses and organizations can expect better overall engagement with their customers by ensuring that their calls are more likely to be answered. This is the first phase of Twilio’s broader initiative to build greater trust in traditional communications.
Twilio welcomes applications from businesses and organizations – such as carriers and operating systems, in addition to apps – to participate in the private beta of Verified By Twilio by visiting twilio.com/verified-by-twilio. Twilio encourages consumers to download one of the call identification apps — CallApp, Hiya, Robokiller or YouMail — to start blocking unwanted calls today and to be prepared to receive information when Verified By Twilio is fully available in early 2020. No costs are involved for businesses and organizations who would like to join the private beta. Pricing for Verified By Twilio will be determined nearer the general availability date. Any costs for consumers are related only for what is associated with downloading the apps.
“We at CallApp are excited to be working closely with Twilio to continue to provide our users the best possible call control, smart spam protection and caller-id for their day-to-day calls and texting. CallApp is the all-in-one app allowing users to customize and enrich their calling experience by providing them with Caller-ID, Call Blocking, Smart Spam Filtering, Call Screen, Call Recording, Enhanced Dialer and Social Contact Book,” said Amit On, founder and chief executive officer, CallApp.
“Hiya is at the forefront of combating scam and nuisance calls to protect consumers from unwanted calls,” said Alex Algard, chief executive officer of Hiya. “At the same time, Hiya helps to empower consumers with the information they need to decide whether or not to answer a call. Working with Twilio and Verified By Twilio will help us ensure that our users receive the calls that they want, and block the calls that they don’t want.”
“We are thrilled to bring the Verified By Twilio service to the RoboKiller app. Our mission is to block spam calls, but it’s equally important to our users for us to allow legitimate and wanted calls to ring through. Verified By Twilio will offer a trusted visual signal that RoboKiller users will use to know who is calling and why,” said Ethan Garr, RoboKiller’s senior vice president of Strategic Growth.
“At YouMail, we’re excited to use Verified By Twilio to improve our call blocking service by correctly labeling and letting through those legitimate callers who make calls using the Twilio platform,” said Alex Qulici, chief executive officer, YouMail.
Twilio Trusted Communications
Twilio is committed to restoring trust in the communications that consumers have come to rely on every day. As the leading cloud communications platform, Twilio has implemented a number of safeguards into its technology to help ensure that it is only being used to send the communications consumers want to receive. In addition, the company is an active participant in a variety of industry efforts to develop standards aimed at stopping the noise consumers don’t want to receive while also protecting the critical communications they do want.
Millions of developers around the world have used Twilio to unlock the magic of communications to improve any human experience. Twilio has democratized communications channels like voice, text, chat, video, and email by virtualizing the world’s communications infrastructure through APIs that are simple enough for any developer to use, yet robust enough to power the world’s most demanding applications. By making communications a part of every software developer’s toolkit, Twilio is enabling innovators across every industry — from emerging leaders to the world’s largest organizations — to reinvent how companies engage with their customers.