Twitterfone launches


Twitterfone launched last night to a spectacular response. Mike Arrington gave it a glowing report on TechCrunch and the feedback has been very positive.

What does Twitterfone do? Not much! It does one thing and it does it well. It allows you to dial a local number, leave a short message, the message is then transcribed and posted to your Twitter account along with a link to the audio file in case the transcription doesn’t quite come out.

The best use case for this is in your car when you shouldn’t can’t browse!

I have no idea how well it works if you are outside your own country but Pat being the king of roaming, I imagine he is all over that.

Just how good is it? Well I just left a message saying “@patphelan looks like everyone is looking for a twitterfone invite” and got the following Tweet posted:

ask Pat Phelan looks like everyone is lookig for a twitterfone invoice

It obviously had issues with my enunciation (although listening back, the quality of the line left a lot to be desired).

A couple of things Pat will need to add to improve it (and I assume Pat has already thought of these):

  • Support for Twitter commands – @, and d particularly and
  • OpenID support – it still amazes me that people build their own proprietary login systems when they can leverage OpenID and facilitate single sign-on for their users

Well done to Pat and the rest of the team for getting this up. I look forward to watching its evolution.

14 thoughts on “Twitterfone launches”

  1. Pat has done a superb job with TwitterFone.

    Whilst I use OpenID, I think he’d be insane to limit his sign-ups by requiring people to use it. If Twitter itself used OpenID, then maybe it would make sense.

  2. Conor, I’m not sure I agree (about the OpenID – I do agree Pat has done a superb job).

    Asking people to use OpenID to sign in isn’t limiting. If people don’t already have an OpenID, you walk them through setting up an OpenID login (in the same way he is currently walking them through setting up a Twtterfone login).

    It is now a trivial matter to become an OpenID provider so Pat could himself be an OpenID provider and thus give people single sign-in to both Twitterfone and MaxRoam (as well as a host of other sites) in one fell swoop.

  3. Depends on your definition of trivial I guess.

    If it isn’t limiting, why don’t you install the WP OpenID plugin and insist people here use OpenID to leave a comment?

  4. Apples and oranges Conor,

    That might be a valid comparison if I were forcing people to register to leave a comment here. I don’t.

    Most people don’t currently have an OpenID login.
    Most people don’t currently have a Twitterfone login.
    An OpenID login is far more useful.
    Instead of walking people through a Twtterfone registration, why not walk them through an OpenID login, giving them access to the Twitterfone site and potentially many other sites too?

  5. Seems a bit odd to be relying SOLEY on a third party for your login though.
    It’s well and good using OpenID but what if OpenID suffers from a blackout?

  6. Still waiting for the big uptick in sites accepting OpenID logins. Remember DIGG announced it in March 2007! I predicted it’d be huge in June 2006. Still waiting.

    So apart from Plaxo and a niche site like, what other sites that you visit regularly are using it for login?

    There is a big mindshift for people to use OpenID instead of a normal login. I still find the whole re-direct thing as annoying as hell. Maybe something like ClickPass will help things, maybe.

  7. I frequent a few sites which use OpenID (Ma.gnolia, PBWiki, and zooomr, for example – there is a comprehensive list at

    But your point is well taken, not enough sites have implemented OpenID. Yet.

    Keep agitating for change. Or it will never happen!

  8. I had no idea that this existed…..I guess I am a little behind. I think I will try this out because it could come in very handy if I need to send a message out to my followers while on the road.

Comments are closed.