History of APIs - Twilio

In 2007, a new API-as-a-product platform launched, called Twilio, which introduced a voice API allowing developers to make and receive phone calls via any cloud application. Over the last 3 years Twilio has additionally released a text messaging and SMS short code API, making itself a critical telephony resource in many developers toolbox.

Twilio is held up as a model platform to follow when evangelizing to developers. Twilio has helped define which technical and business building blocks are essential for a healthy API driven platform, set the bar for on the ground evangelism at events and hackathons, and worked hard to showcase, support and invest it its developer ecosystem.

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Alongside Foursquare and Instagram, Twilio has come to define mobile application development, helping push APIs into the mainstream. While Twitter has sometime been held up as a cautionary tale when it comes to APIs,  Twilio has demonstrated, that when done right, API driven ecosystems do work.

By 2011 the bar for delivering APIs, via HTTP, has been well established by early pioneers like SalesForce and Amazon, but Twilio has shown how mature the business of APIs has become with its evolution into the mobile period.  However, mobile development via APIs, owes its roots to the foundation laid by the commerce, social and cloud API pioneers.