Quicktate Launches TweetCall for Twitter
Users of the popular microblogging site Twitter.com can now dial a toll-free number, speak their tweets, and have them transcribed and uploaded to Twitter—all thanks to TweetCall, a new service launched last week by voice-to-text provider Quicktate.
To sign up for TweetCall—which is currently a free service—a user simply registers at www.tweetcall.com via entering her preexisting Twitter username, password, and phone number(s). After that, the user is assigned a four digit pin number. Then it’s simply a matter of calling 1-877-Tweet-Call, which identifies the user via caller ID. Her spoken tweets are immediately converted to text and appear in her Twitter feed.
According to Lee Dorfman, chief executive officer at Quicktate, the creation of TweetCall was inspired by a recent New York Times story revealing that many celebrities are employing ghost writers to compose their tweets.
Dorfman—who notes the widespread criticism of these ghost writers—says TweetCall makes twittering even simpler with its easy to remember phone number and simple user interface.
“Dialing and talking really is faster than texting,” he says. “The fact that you can do it in the car and just push a button—we’re starting to find that a lot of people are doing that.”
With regard to Twitter’s 140 characters per tweet limit, Dorfman says users can usually speak between 22 and 25 words. Anything more than that is cut off. However, he says that, in the very near future, the service will be expanded. If a user is reading a tweet sent via TweetCall but cut off by Twitter's character limit, she will be able to click a link to see the entire transcript—regardless of length—and even hear an audio recording of the original message.
“We think that as the twittersphere expands the type of tweets that come in, there will be people that will not only want to read what’s said, but hear what’s said,” says Dorfman, who notes users may have to pay for the expanded service. “And to take it further, depending on what the tweet is, they may even want to hear the emotion behind the tweet.”
Dorfman adds that while there is currently no process for reviewing tweets prior to sending them via TweetCall, there will soon be a function that allows users to rerecord messages by pressing the star key on their mobile phones. Once a satisfactory message is recorded, users send it by either hanging up or pressing the pound key.
According to Quicktate, TweetCall has been well received and is gaining the attention of some celebrity Twitter users such as radio and television personality Drew “Dr. Drew” Pinsky. And although Dorfman couldn’t provide any usage number at this point, he says the reaction has been very positive.
“We’re very pleased with the response,” he says. “People are very, very excited about it…People are blown away by it.”