A new Google service allows internet-deprived Egypt to use Twitter over the telephone.
Tweet To Speak is the result of a collaboration between engineers of Twitter, Google and Saynow, a company “acquired” by the philanthropic search engine last week.
People in Egypt are now able to Tweet by calling a local number and leaving a voice message. That message is then posted to the feed @speak2tweet with an #egypt hashtag, which links to the voice recording on SayNow.com. Crucially, people can listen to the voice Tweets of others by calling the same numbers.
A blog titled Alive in Egypt has been set up to translate the voice recordings into English.
Still without the internet 5 days after beleagured President Mubarak ordered the blackout, Egyptians fear the Tweeting service will be short-lived – the government has made plans to cut off the nation’s mobile phone network.
Social networking tools like Twitter had previously been used to organise protests in Egypt.