Twilio has announced Twilio Conversations, a unified API that allows developers to build conversation experiences across multiple channels and platforms. Modern messaging platforms exist across multiple channels (e.g. SMS, MMS, Chat, and WhatsApp). The Twilio Conversations API allows developers to take input from all of these disparate channels and create a single experience for users to interact with.
To show how Conversations works in practice, Twilio provided an example in a press release:
"Imagine a customer needs to change the address of their takeout delivery order. They respond to an order confirmation text with the correct address. With Twilio Conversations, a customer support agent could receive that text in the contact center, chat with the driver who is on WhatsApp and bridge all three parties into one conversation to coordinate the delivery."
Twilio takes care of the backend complexity associated with managing the various channels. Conversations address the complexities in three categories: channels, elastic infrastructure, and smart content handling. Current channels include Chat, SMS, MMS, and WhatsApp. Elastic infrastructure allows administrators to create programmable chats, add/remove/transfer chats, store historical conversations, use numbers across the globe, and scale conversations from two to many. Finally, smart content handling includes the ability for intelligent bots, media support, character encoding, intelligent concatenation, and opt-out management.
Conversations is currently in Beta release. Those interested should start by signing up for a free Twilio account. Conversations pricing starts with $.03 per active user per month and $.25 per GB in storage fees. Visit the conversations site to learn more.