Twilio has long made a name for itself as a service that lets developers easily add audio, video and text communication features to their applications, but with Twilio Studio, which is launching as a closed preview today, the company is now also targeting non-developers.
The idea here is to allow virtually anybody to build customer engagement applications like voice response systems, messaging bots and notification workshops with the help of a web-based drag-and-drop application. The one Twilio feature that isn't available in Studio yet, though, is video. It's worth noting that while Twilio's marketing is clearly focusing on this use case, the service isn't limited to building this kind of application.
While Twilio Studio is essentially a low-code service for building a very specific kind of application, the team is also targeting professional developers, too. "This dramatically increases the number of folks who can build these experiences, but it's also really useful too for the existing engineers in a lot of organizations that are building these workflows today," Twilio VP of product Pat Malatack told me.
Indeed, the team integrated Twilio Functions, the company's serverless platform, right into Studio to ensure that even though Studio offers graphical access to most existing Twilio APIs, a drag-and-drop interface can't be quite as flexible as writing code directly. After the developers have done their job, though, anybody else can still easily make basic changes to the application again.
Pricing for Twilio Studio will be usage-based. On top of a somewhat limited free tier that still allows developer to create unlimited flows, the company will offer a more fully-featured "Plus" tier for production use for $99/month plus $0.005 per customer engagement. In addition, there will also be an enterprise tier for businesses that want to launch large-scale implementations.