‘Verified by Twilio’ takes on robocalls with groundbreaking caller ID

‘Verified by Twilio’ takes on robocalls with groundbreaking caller ID
Editor at TechForge Media. Often sighted at global tech conferences with a coffee in one hand and laptop in the other. If it's geeky, I'm probably into it.

Twilio has partnered with leading call ID apps to finally tackle the scourge of robocalls with a groundbreaking new solution called ‘Verified by Twilio’.

During the company’s day two keynote at Signal 2019, Christine Roberts, GM and VP of Super Network at Twilio, gave her personal account with unidentified calls. While it was her own experience, it’s one that many of us relate to.

Roberts showed her phone log filled with red missed calls she chose not to answer. She’s not alone, research shows three of every four calls go unanswered if the recipient doesn’t know who’s calling; an unsurprising statistic when there were approximately 48 billion robocalls in the US alone last year.

Like many of us in our youth, Roberts recalls eagerly running to the home landline when it rang; excited about who could be on the other end.

“Maybe it was grandma saying she’s going to send me five bucks, maybe it was a friend calling to figure out if we could do a sleepover,” says Roberts. “We all know that’s not what happens now. Today, when the phone rings, the sentiment is completely different.”

Twilio set out with ‘Verified by Twilio’ to help ensure all communications are desired.

“How often have you checked that voicemail, later on, to find out you missed something that was really important?” asks Roberts.

Verified by Twilio will bring up a caller ID detailing not just exactly who is calling, but – impressively – why they’re calling.


As shown in the image above, the caller ID can be personalised with that company’s branding using custom logos and colours. Here's how that's made possible:

Twilio has partnered with apps already offering more limited versions of caller ID today such as CallApp, Robokiller, YouMail, and Hiya with the aim of bringing the functionality to over 200 million people by the end of 2019.

Ensuring calls are desired is a win-win for all. For the recipient, they know the call is worth their time picking up. Callers, on the other hand, often spend a lot of money making calls; so it’s wasted cash and time if they’re not being picked up.

Roberts explains that – more important than blocking unwanted calls – is ensuring wanted calls do come through.

“At Twilio, my team uses machine learning and analyses traffic patterns to figure out who’s not using our platform for good,” says Roberts. “We know it’s equally as important to let known, good, wanted communications to get through.”

A first-hand account was shared of a school nurse calling when Roberts’ daughter injured her ankle. Had Roberts not answered, as she often doesn’t for unrecognised calls, her daughter could’ve been stuck with her injuries.

Carriers themselves are implementing new technologies to prevent robocalls, while legislation is also being passed intended to help combat it. Twilio’s solution, which helps to show why a call is being made, seems to be the most robust and readily available.

Twilio welcomes applications from businesses and organisations – 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.

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