Twilio: Explain Like I’m 5

Prashant Bagga
2 min readJun 30, 2022

I knew @Twilio existed but never understood what they do.

There’s a reason why a 12-year-old kid in India can build an Uber clone over a weekend. Just like Lego pieces, you can today piece together pre-built components (called APIs) with minimal coding to launch your app.

One of those core components is communications. In-app communication via SMS, voice, video, and email. Almost all the apps you know of are using one or more of these formats to serve their user. Now, they don’t want to keep reinventing the wheel.

So they let Twilio handle everything related to communications. Uber’s goal is to help people go from point A to point B. They focus on improving UI for riders, reducing wait time, and dropping them off at their destination safely.

@Uber doesn’t want to spend resources on building the in-app calling service that riders use to call drivers. So with a few lines of code, they integrate the Twilio API and let them take care of the calling service.

Similarly, when you get an SMS from @Airbnb with details of your booking — that’s Twilio doing its thing.

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