Verified by Twilio will tell you who's calling -- and why

The cloud communications company is building a service that will let businesses give their identity, as well as their reason for calling, when they call a customer.

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Robocalls have become such a rampant problem that many people won't answer the phone if they don't recognize the number. This presents a challenge, of course, for any business trying to reach customers. Twilio is rolling out a new solution that aims to solve this by telling callers who's trying to reach them -- and why. 

The cloud communications platform has partnered with leading call identification apps to launch Verified by Twilio in private beta. The service will give consumers more context about the purpose of an incoming call. 

The aim is to limit the unwanted calls consumers get and improve answer rates for legitimate businesses. The new service, Twilio says, is the first phase of its broader initiative to build greater trust in traditional communications. 

"At Twilio, we want to help consumers take back their phones, so that when their phone rings, they know it's a trusted, wanted call," Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said in a statement. "A lot of work is being done in the industry to stop unwanted calls and phone scams, and we want to ensure consumers continue to receive the wanted calls."

Twilio is working with call identification apps including CallApp, Hiya, Robokiller, and YouMail to provide consumers with verfied information about an incoming call. Twilio is also creating a repository to host verified information of businesses and organizations, as well as their associated brands. The service should help combat spoofing, the practice of giving a fake number for an incoming call. 

Through the programmability of the Twilio platform, businesses and organizations will be able to dynamically assign a purpose for each call. For instance, an airline using the service could let a call recipient know that they're calling about a cancelled flight. 

Verified By Twilio is now available in private beta for testing and adoption by other carriers, mobile operating systems and apps. Pricing for the service will be determined nearer the general availability date.

Twilio is encouraging consumers to download one of the call identification apps -- CallApp, Hiya, Robokiller or YouMail -- to start blocking unwanted calls and be prepared for the Verified By Twilio rollout. The service should be fully available in early 2020.

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