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March 12, 2014

Click-to-Call on Twitter

Click-to-call features are becoming more common across the Web as user demands for real-time access grow as well as their mobile usage. When people are searching the Internet, the ability to click a button and immediately be put into contact with a company representative makes them more productive and increases customer satisfaction – digital tools should work to give customers what they are looking for right away, not make them work for information.

This type of functionality is optimized for mobile, but its future on desktop browsers is not too far away. WebRTC, a technology enabling peer-to-peer real-time communication, makes calling over a browser possible. Users can engage in audio and video calls, as well as file sharing and screen sharing, without downloading any software or plugins.

In an effort to expand its direct response advertising, Twitter is developing a click-to-call button for users to directly call advertisers. Google, Foursquare and Yelp have offered click-to-call solutions for a while now, but Twitter is joining the space in an effort to broaden its ad base. Social media marketing goes beyond the number of likes, retweets and shares a company gets – it’s about impacting the bottom line, and with click-to-call, Twitter aims to showcase this to advertisers.

Image via Shutterstock

If there’s one thing Twitter is known for, it’s real-time information. Companies are taking advantage of this, and using the social network as a direct response channel. Implementing a click-to-call feature would embrace that.

“I believe that communication can be two-way and Twitter has components for both broadcast and two-way. Anything that does a better job of making communications a two way-experience I think adds value,” Carl Ford, CEO of Crossfire Media, explained of the feature.

The idea of using Twitter for communication beyond 140-character messages isn’t new. We’ve explored using Twitter as a discovery tool, and a number of companies look to integrate Twitter into communication applications. Twelephone is a provider of video chats with friends on Twitter using peer-to-peer HTML5 WebRTC technology. Users can also connect to contact center customers with Twelephone. Twelephone has been more than just one step ahead of Twitter for this service – as Twitter is just starting to implement click-to-call functionality for mobile users, Twelephone foresaw that necessary functionality and found a way to offer it on the regular desktop, as well.

A Twitter spokesperson said the company will speak publicly about the feature when it is officially launched – no word on when that is or if there are even plans to expand that to the browser. 

Edited by Alisen Downey
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