Top 10 Twilio Alternatives: A Guide to Choose Communication APIs for your Project
Virtual communication is becoming an integral part of our day to day lives and businesses. Especially in the time of COVID-19, startups and enterprises have no option but to make virtual communication their #1 priority. To aid this upsurge in sudden demand, communication APIs became a go-to option and today they are the most preferred technology for virtual communication.
The need to make this scalable and inexpensive was quickly met and now there are countless options available. One of the biggest options is Twilio. It has been the top API provider for communication services since 2008. It is no surprise that Twilio is a very popular option for many businesses because of its ease of use and the whole suite of enterprise services that it offers.
However, the most popular option is not always the best option. To make the best decision, you need to thoroughly examine several options and weigh their pros and cons.
Confused? Don’t worry! This blog is a comprehensive list of the ten best Twilio alternatives that will help you clear your dilemma. But before you get to the list, here is a quick look at why you need a Twilio alternative in the first place?
Why do you need an alternative to Twilio?
Twilio has been helping businesses with customized communication solutions since the beginning of the API era. It earns an astounding $1.4 billion per year from its vast clientele, including Uber, Airbnb, and eBay. Twilio Flex is a cloud contact center that boasts of a massive user base.
So, is Twilio the perfect solution for your communication needs? Um, let’s discuss.
There are limitations to the dominance of Twilio. Let’s take an example of the European Union. The region has strict laws for data exchange with the US. According to GDPR, the data transfer across servers in the US and the EU should be safe.
GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation helps regulate data transfers. Now, Twilio has been quite successful in the European Union. With the EU court’s latest ruling, it is now illegal to use a US-based cloud service provider, even if it has a physical server in Europe. It has led to many European companies looking towards a Twilio alternative.
Another example, there was a common complaint among many SMS API users that delivery notification does not work often. What happened was the SMS was not sent from a web app, but Twilio’s system showed it as delivered.
Similarly, some of the telecom operators in Russia use a grey scheme with Twilio, making it inefficient. What happens is there are some messages in the lot that don’t reach the desired recipient. Besides, Twilio does not indicate such mishaps. So, you may even miss the target audience and not know about it.
Another issue with Twilio is pricing; it offers communication API services at a higher price point., The total cost of ownership(TCO) with Twilio is expensive. At the same time, there are alternatives to Twilio that offer similar services at low TCO.
So, if you are thinking about what can be a good Twilio alternative in terms of technical features, efficiency, and flexibility? Here are the top ten options for you!
Top 10 Twilio alternatives
#1 Nexmo (Vonage)
When Vonage acquired Nexmo in 2016, Nexmo was already making a significant impact on the CPaaS market with its 650 globally interconnected SMS delivery carriers. Alan Masarek, CEO at Vonage, saw this as an opportunity to establish a company that brought UCaaS and CPaaS together to offer top-of-the-line communication services.
Today, Nexmo (Vonage) has a user base of more than 7 billion people across 225 countries and a global web of more than 1,600 networks. Vonage combined Nexmo’s communication prowess with the video capabilities of TokBox. So, you get a suite of communication APIs that help integrate SMS, MMS, calls, videos, and social chat apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.
Nexmo (Vonage) offers API calls with a 99.99% error-free response rate and a shorter data access turnout. Its services come with SLAs (Service Level Agreement) support. Nexmo (Vonage) has clients like Siemens, Aramex, BlaBlaCar, Babylon, Cambly, and Glassdoor.
#Nexmo (Vonage) as Twilio alternative
Nexmo (Vonage) offers a unique feature – adaptive routing – not available in Twilio. This feature’s algorithm routes messages to the optimum path, enabling faster delivery to user devices.
While Twilio employs SMS gateways that complicates the whole process, Nexmo (Vonage) uses the carrier’s network directly. Furthermore, the use of REST APIs in Nexmo (Vonage) makes it easy for developers to manipulate data and understand the architecture.
Besides that, it incorporates robust protocols to its inbuilt architecture that protects your communication channel. On the other hand, Twilio uses RESTful APIs consisting of multiple layers that may expose your application to security hazards.
#When to choose Nexmo (Vonage)?
If you’re a business that operates majorly in the EU region, Nexmo is an excellent option as it complies with the latest data regulation policy. Moreover, its voice services are available across Europe while SMS is available in the UK, Sweden, and Germany.
- Leverage adaptive routing algorithms for better messaging.
- Use the new web-based console to integrate administrative functions with management reports.
- Put to use a combination of high-end video APIs with Tokbox.
- Get calling insights on one of the best user interfaces.
- Integrate social chat options like Facebook Messenger, Viber, WeChat, and Line.
- Receive free inbound SMS and one free shortcode number.
- Extra features come at an additional cost.
- Video conferencing is not a part of the suite.
With a strong network of more than 1,600 global operators and connectivity in 195 countries, you can program custom calls and SMS APIs with Plivo. It offers conference calls, recording, and multi-language support for text-to-speech features to more than 50 countries and messaging in 19 countries. What’s more, Plivo offers pricing for different APIs rather than a suite of services.
#Plivo as Twilio alternative
Despite the usual word limit, Plivo’s long message concatenation allows you to send SMSes with more than 160 characters. When a sender exceeds the cap, the phone detects it and splits it into two different SMSes. But what makes this feature more interesting is that the receiver receives these broken texts as one message.
Although Twilio and Plivo offer extended message support for a maximum limit of 1,600 characters, it’s the free call recordings and storage that sets Plivo apart.
#When to choose Plivo?
Plivo can help financial organizations like banks, fintech, and credit lenders to utilize browser-based call center SDK for better communications.
- Access virtual numbers across 65 countries
- Get instant user feedback after each call.
- Send up to 40 group messages per second.
- Provides support to long message concatenation.
- Offers call routing and a three-way calling facility to enterprises
- Compared to the 25 languages Twilio supports, Plivo offers only 16 languages in its text-to-speech feature.
- Call-in systems are only limited to premium users.
#3 Amazon Connect and SNS
Amazon Connect and Simple Notification Service (SNS) are communication solutions backed by AWS (Amazon Web Services). Amazon Connect, for one, allows you to quickly initiate a contact center, add agents worldwide, and offer a personalized experience to customers.
The Amazon SNS service takes customer engagement to the next level by offering a fully-managed messaging service for both application-to-person (A2P) and application-to-application (A2A).
This system enables you to notify customers about crucial information via SMS, email, and mobile push. With SNS topics, you can parallelly reach tens of thousands of subscriber systems that span from AWS Lambda functions to Amazon SQS queues and HTTPS endpoints.
#Amazon Connect and SNS as Twilio alternative
Amazon Connect and SNS are good alternatives to Twilio with the ability to integrate multiple channels. While Amazon Connect’s centralized contact center handles different channels efficiently, Amazon SNS enables messaging to a broader audience through a single channel.
#When to choose Amazon Connect and SNS?
Smartphone manufacturers can leverage Amazon SNS to notify customers of major mobile user interface updates. They can simply create an SNS topic for updates, so everyone with a subscription to the topic receives push notifications. Furthermore, small business owners with no technical backgrounds can use Amazon Connect to manage contact flows, for its GUI is easy to use and does not need extensive coding.
- Comes with a self-serve graphic user interface for users from a non-technical background.
- Can modify the contact flows based on Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Redshift, Amazon Aurora — or third-party CRM or analytics solutions.
- It allows the users to create natural language contact flows with Amazon’s Lex AI service.
- Helps you scale the number of subscribers and messages without infrastructure.
- Leverages the HTTP API architecture.
- Supports AWS Lambda, AWS SQS notifications, mobile push notifications, email addresses, and SMS messages.
- Integration with the REST APIs is not possible directly, but you can use AWS Lambda as a medium.
- Documentation for Amazon Connect is limited.
- Delivery rate for email messages on Amazon SNS has a maximum limit of 10 messages per second.
Bandwidth offers different services like voice, messaging, and even 911 call management. It lets you automate phone number ordering, porting, and activation and gives you access to more than 52 million phone numbers in the US. What’s more, its country-wide reach facilitates the process of establishing a connection between your system and its secure IP voice network. You can also opt to kickstart your project by applying its programmable APIs.
Just like Plivo and Twilio, Bandwidth’s messaging APIs support long messages with additional features like emoji support, pin codes, and push notifications. It also provides 911 APIs with services like dynamic location, coordinates, and physical addresses.
#Bandwidth as Twilio alternative
Bandwidth is the best alternative to Twilio when it comes to voice services in the US. The dedicated console it offers facilitates the integration of 911 services into your business. It also ensures that you get an instant number provisioning with a fast emergency response.
#When to choose Bandwidth?
The healthcare and logistics industry can fuse Bandwidth’s 911-based communications into their existing systems. Moreover, healthcare providers can make the most of 911 routing APIs for better communications.
- Easy-to-use user interface with innovative APIs for higher customer experience(CX).
- Get automated phone number ordering and programmable voice APIs.
- Supports long messages concatenation, mobile push notifications, and emojis with images
- Customize real-time communication for your business.
- Integrate 911 services quickly without the need for a contact center.
- Coverage is limited to the United States.
- High ticket-response time.
- An issue with the local number portability rejection
Sinch is an excellent choice for adding calling and messaging features into native apps. It supports REST APIs to create easy integrations into Android and iOS apps. What makes Sinch popular among developers is its simple UI and quick setup.
Sinch offers A2P(Application to Person) messaging through programmable APIs. More than 50,000 developers use APIs from Sinch and there more than 25 billion transactions executed annually through the platform. The global revenues from A2P SMS will exceed that of person-to-person or P2P SMS by 2022.
#Sinch as Twilio alternative
In comparison with Twilio, Sinch is easier to use and also relatively cheaper. The SDK solution from Sinch is comprehensive and eliminates the need for coding. Its support for native apps and REST APIs make it a good Twilio alternative.
#When to choose Sinch?
Automobile enterprises can choose Sinch to enable embedded communications into cars, buses, trucks, and other vehicles.
- Enables messaging and call verification through API services
- Offers a complete SDK solution for developers with less coding
- Free instant messaging feature with a higher cap of 25,000 users per month.
- No live calling in the customer support structure
- No toll-free number service and call recording facility/span>
Voxbone is a cloud-native Tier-1 carrier with services spanning regulatory compliance in more than 60 countries. It means that breaching new markets, and entering new international waters become easy with all the compliance and regulations in place.
Any app transmission to a carrier passes through aggregators. These aggregators connect the application with Tier-1 carriers keeping compliance with Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). For maintaining such compliance aggregators charge handling fees for app data.
Some API providers bounce your application to several providers increasing the cost and degrading the quality of transmissions. Voxbone offers routing of data through fewer aggregators to lower the cost and remove lags in communication.
#Voxbone as Twilio alternative
Voxbone helps with a SIP-capable platform that allows you to Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC). It enables the integration of platforms with many different carriers. SIP trunking will help call receiving across the IP network. You can use the voice service of Voxbone, SMS API from Twilio, and a video API from Nexmo (Vonage) without any hassle.
#When to choose Voxbone?
If you are an enterprise looking to create collaborative technology for business operations, Voxbone is the right choice. It provides anonymous virtual phone numbers across 56 countries that enable remote work collaborations.
- Tier-1 provider in many markets across the globe
- Enables call and text messages across 30 markets through a single SIP trunk
- Contract valid across the globe, eliminating the need for separate contracts.
- Integrates multiple carriers and APIs into a single platform
- The monthly Minimum Contract (MMC) is not flexible.
- The user interface lacks intuitiveness.
Telnyx helps you connect with the carrier without any aggregator platform and provides a higher call quality through its private network environment. This reduces the number of telecom markups with an affordable pricing structure.
Telnyx helps save more time on each call with the faster switchover. It comes with a FastPort service that helps with the segmentation of numbers right before the port request.
#Telnyx as Twilio alternative
The most significant differentiating factor is the call control feature that helps with the automation of calls and enables you to integrate voice workflows. Developers can leverage this feature to create new communication channels.
Telnyx also offers free inbound SMS with media forking capabilities to process real-time audio with midcall branches.
#When to choose Telnyx?
Telnyx is perfect for BPOs with a need for real-time data on customer communications. It allows media forking to enhance audio and record each voice data for future reference.
- Call automation features with control functionality.
- Real-time audio processing for enhanced customer experience
- Easy migration with a Fastport feature
- Supports JSON language in APIs
- Offers 24/7 customer support with live calling
- Charges for porting of numbers to other platforms or services
- No facility for direct inward dialing (DID) lists.
- No contact management and lack of call routing facilities
Restcomm supports customer interactions with features like click-to-call and SMS with mobile push notifications. Additionally, it offers integrations of chatbots and real-time communication capabilities. You get to choose from communication solutions like APIs, SDK for voice, video, messaging, two-factor authentications, Call Queueing, Conferencing, and WebRTC.
#Restcomm as Twilio alternative
Restcomm is an open-source CPaaS enabler that offers facilities like BYOC or Bring Your Own Carrier. It allows you to add multiple carriers for SMS and voice services through CPaaS platforms like Twilio or Nexmo(Vonage).
#When to choose Restcomm?
If you are looking to build a communication API from scratch, Restcomm is the best platform to offer a full-stack SDK solution.
- Offers a full-stack APIs service for video, audio, and SMS
- Enables CPaaS providers to offer programmable APIs.
- Directly connects with SIP through Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC).
- Supports tier-1 operators like BT, Verizon, T-Mobile, and others
- It does not allow you to use services directly and needs a CPaaS medium.
InfoBip offers integration of omnichannel communication that helps you to include SMS and RCS (Rich Communication Services) services quickly into your existing systems. RCS is a new messaging protocol used in native environments, especially for Android, to deliver a live messaging experience. What’s more, the CPaaS provider also offers solutions for fleet management and IoT (Internet of Things)-based communications.
#InfoBip as Twilio alternative
InfoBip offers a dedicated Whatsapp integration solution. At the same time, Twilio does not have any such facility dedicated to the integration of Whatsapp. With InfoBip, you get a Whatsapp business API to enable communications through the social platform.
#When to choose InfoBip?
If you are an event organizing agency, InfoBip helps you communicate with the consumers through rich communication services.
- Quick integration of social chat like Facebook messenger, Viber, and Whatsapp.
- Create communication for on-demand apps with RCS.
- Offers mobile app messaging, text to call, email messages, and dedicated Whatsapp integration.
- Does not provide an extensive voice service with call tracking and automation
- Does not offer MMS services
- Lacks dedicated support towards contact center services
#Agora.AI as Twilio alternative
Agora.AI can be the perfect platform to integrate virtual tools into existing systems. Unlike Twilio, it provides more robust WebRTC APIs and allows you to include video conferencing features into apps and web apps effortlessly.
The best part about Agora.AI is that it offers high-definition video calling facilities at attractive prices. In contrast to Twilio’s varying calling and receiving rates, Agora.AI provides calls with a flat rate.
#When to choose Agora.AI?
Agora.AI can help small businesses leverage social media chat integrations for better CRM. It’s an excellent option for startups to integrate AI and Machine Learning into social chats for better CX (Customer Experience).
- Helps over 200,000 developers with sample documentations
- Provides more than 300 million minutes of communications per day worldwide
- Achieve low latency and high-definition video communication with its deep learning algorithms.
- Enables network performance even in remote areas through Artificial Intelligence
- API integration support is restricted to emails.
- No pricing structure as it follows a business size-based pricing model.
Twilio is a market leader in the communication space, but there are some weaknesses. For example, Twilio does not offer free inbound SMS, which may not be such a viable option for small businesses looking out for a solution in their budget.
Here, we have listed Twilio alternatives that offer free inbound SMS, direct carrier connection, and even live customer support. At the same time, Twilio does not offer live customer support if you are on a free version, which means more spending on a premium plan.
All the options enlisted here are cheaper than Twilio in terms of services and customer support. As your business scales, you will need more reliable communication services for better customer relationship management, and these Twilio alternatives can help with it.
But, you will need an integrations partner for APIs to create better communication features. So, choose the best suitable communication API for your business, and make better customer journeys!