At its annual Signal developer conference,Twiliotoday announced a couple of new features for developers on its core messaging platform and users of itsrecently acquiredSendGrid email service. The new Twilio tools now allow developers tocreate multi-channel messaging toolsand to getreal-time streams of conversationsin order to run them through transcription services, a translation tool or other machine learning models.
The company’s $3 billion acquisition ofSendGridclosed less than half a year ago, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Twilio would use its biggest event of the year to showcase the service to its developer community.
It’s a bit of an odd one, though. See, SendGrid already announced the beta ofSendGrid Ads back in November 2018. As best as I can tell,Twilio SendGrid Ads, which is now launching in beta, is the same product, but aTwiliorepresentative tells me that the ads product is now more deeply integrated into SendGrid Marketing Campaigns, and also got a bit of a redesign. A form of this integration already existed in the previous version, though.
The general idea here is to allow SendGrid users to run multichannel display ad campaigns on Facebook, Instagram andGooglefrom their SendGrid accounts. The advantage of this, the company argues, is that marketers will be able to use data from their email campaigns and website data to then retarget users on other channels. Similarly, they can use lead ads on Facebook to get potential customers to sign up for their SendGrid mailing list.
SendGrid Ads will cost $50 per month, plus the cost of the ads. SendGrid will also take its own cut of 5% of any media cost over $500.
The new developer tools are pretty straightforward. Twilio Conversations, now in public beta, is a new API that allows developers to create solutions that integrate various messaging channels likeSMS,WhatsApp and other chat tools.
“Over the last two decades, we’ve watched businesses evolve their communications with customers from the phone call, to website chat, to native mobile apps,” said Chee Chew, chief product officer atTwilio. “Leading companies have figured out that the next evolution of great customer experience is through messaging.TwilioConversations empowers businesses to build personal, long-lived connections with their customers on the channels they prefer.”
Twilio Media Streams does exactly what it promises to do. Previously, you could get a recording to a call. Now, you can tap into the real-time call to analyze that stream in real time. That’s useful for all kinds of AI tools that aim to help call center agents, for example. This service is now also in public beta and will cost $0.004 per minute, in addition to the rest of the fees associated with the call.