Real-time communication through video and voice calls has gradually become a norm for most social networking websites and has now taken Twitter into its fold too. Twelephone is a new service that allows you to make calls via your Twitter account.

The new service is the first to use the new WebRTC standard that facilitates real-time communication in the Google Chrome browser using JavaScripts API. Essentially, Twelephone will facilitate real-time communication by using the microphone and camera feed directly from the user’s computer without the need of Flash. Calls over Twelephone will be coming through an encrypted connection, thereby minimising security risks. Founder Chris Matthieu says that the P2P channel used by Twelephone can create data channels such as audio and video, instant messaging and file transfers securely.

Twitter+Web calling=Twelephone

Twitter+Web calling=Twelephone

WebRTC has been adopted by Chrome and is on its way for Firefox and Opera, with even Microsoft showing interest. Apple though has not mentioned if Safari will have WebRTC. Matthieu told TechCrunch that he was planning to build something like Twelephone for over ten years, but didn’t want to use Flash for it. Instead, he used WebRTC for it. Twelephone has been built on NodeJS and is a single page application that also uses web sockets over a Chrome extension.

In a video demonstration, Matthieu showed exactly how easy it is to use Twelephone. The ‘Twelephone’ number or personal identity is your Twitter handle. You need to type in the handle in order to place a call. Once the call is being placed, you need to allow Chrome to access the camera and you can interact with people over Twitter.

Besides being used as an alternative to Skype to interact with your Twitter friends, Twelephone could probably herald a new era in customer interaction with clients for brands. Many companies are now on Twitter in order to provide a very human face to their conversations with existing and potential clients. Twitter is sometimes even used as a platform to address customer grievances. Twelephone could potentially be used by companies to speak with hassled customers and provide an even more humane face to their services.

Of course, there is no saying how trolls that run amok on Twitter will react to a call from the company they had been ranting about.

Chrome seems to be in the centre of a lot of new web apps being developed these days thanks to its constant change and update of the browsers. Google has just released Chrome 25 beta that will see even more apps like Twelephone thanks to the addition of Web Speech API.

Google says that Web Speech, which is another JavaScript API, will help developers integrate speech recognition into their apps. Google has pushed voice support heavily on phones and is now bringing it to the desktop version of its browser too. “Imagine if you could dictate documents, have a freestyle rap battle, or control game characters with your browser using only your voice. With today’s Chrome Beta release, this future is closer than you think,”  wrote Google in its blog announcing the release of Chrome 25 beta.

The Twelephone extension is already available on the Chrome Web Store, with the Firefox and Opera versions coming soon.

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