Google Creates Work Around For Blocked Egyptian Tweeters

As protests continue and the Egyptian government blocks access to the internet, Google created a workaround over the weekend so people can access Twitter via phone calls and leave updates, the company's official blog announced.

"Like many people we've been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service--the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection," the blog reported.

Working with Twitter and Google's newly acquired SayNow, the company has set up three phone numbers where people can call and leave Twitter posts. The numbers, outside Egypt, are in three countries - the United States, Bahrain and Italy (+16504194196, +97316199855 and +390662207294 respectively). The numbers can also call the numbers to hear Tweets.

"We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there," the blog states. The last sentence, perhaps, includes the Egyptian Google employee, Wael Ghonim, who has been missing for five days.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.