This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Twilio is a communication platform as a service (CPaaS) solution that allows users to add text, voice, chat, video, and other communication features to existing business apps. This works through application programming interfaces (APIs) connecting the programs. In this Twilio review, it earned perfect scores for its features and customer service. However, it scored lower on pricing as the pay-as-you-go fees are more expensive than other CPaaS platforms.
Twilio Review: At a Glance
- Advanced coding know-how is required to maximize features
- Pay-as-you-go fees are more expensive than competitors like Plivo
- Some users reported encountering difficulties navigating the platform
- When you need to integrate multiple communication channels into your platform:Twilio has a wide variety of APIs, including short messaging service (SMS), voice messaging, email, video, in-app and web chat, and social messaging. For its excellent SMS tools, it’s among our top picks for text messaging services.
- Monitor call center activities: Twilio Flex is a customizable contact center platform allowing users to add their own metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). The platform is one of the best call monitoring software on the market.
- Build robust interactive voice response (IVR) systems: It has flexible API tools that let you build a scalable IVR system, including the Studio, a no-code no- or low-code flow builder. For this reason, the provider made it to our list of top IVR systems.
- Need an agile Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking solution. Twilio’s Elastic SIP trunking service automatically scales up or down depending on your call traffic requirements, earning a spot in our best SIP trunking providers guide.
- When you need a robust video conferencing platform: While Twilio’s video API provides collaboration tools, RingCentral has more, including smart capabilities like automatically generated summaries and highlights. It earned the top spot in our list of the best business phone systems.
- Want a text-based webchat: Twilio has a great webchat API, but Podium is a better platform if you want to stay connected to a lead even after they leave your website because it uses text-based webchat.
- Require a robust project management feature set: While it is a feature-rich platform, Twilio doesn’t have task management and team collaboration tools. If this is a priority in your choice of a communications platform as a service (CPaaS) system, Bitrix24 is a more suitable solution.
Twilio Deciding Factors
As one of the best CPaaS platforms, Twilio offers a wide range of APIs, making it an ideal solution for those wanting to enhance the capabilities of their communication systems. The APIs include SMS, MMS, chat, WhatsApp, email, voice, video, and SIP trunking. It follows a pay-as-you-go pricing scheme except for the email APIs (monthly flat rate). Twilio also has solutions for customizing contact centers and intelligent bots.
Companies that need to expand existing business communication apps’ functionalities
Annual or Volume Discounts Available
SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, voice, email, video, SIP trunking, conversations, and verification
The provider offers four support plans with varying degrees of customer service. The highest-tier plan includes email, live chat, phone, and account manager support.
While Twilio is an excellent CPaaS solution, it has limitations, including the lack of advanced collaboration or project management features. If you’re prioritizing specific communication campaigns like SMS marketing or reputation management, it’s best to explore other platforms. Consider the top options below or check out other Twilio alternatives:
Businesses needing advanced collaboration features in their video conferencing tool
Companies running text marketing and reputation management campaigns
Organizations that prefer a CPaaS system with project management tools
Monthly Starting Price
$30 per user
$249 for up to 3 team members
$61 for 5 users
Twilio pricing got a score of 1 out of 5 because it doesn’t offer a free plan and annual discounts. Most of its APIs are available on a pay-as-you-go basis, but the fees are more expensive than other CPaaS platforms like Plivo and Telnyx. This pricing model applies to APIs for voice, messaging, WhatsApp Business, elastic SIP trunking, video, and verification.
Meanwhile, the conversation API and Twilio Flex have user-based fees. Twilio Segment and SendGrid Email API, on the other hand, follow a monthly flat rate. Learn more about Twilio pricing in the table below.
85 cents/minute for inbound calls
1.4 cents/minute for outgoing calls
79 cents to send and receive a message
SendGrid Email API
$14.95 a month for up to 40,000 emails (up to 100 emails per day for free)
WhatsApp Business API
42 cents to send a WhatsApp template message; 50 cents for WhatsApp Session messages
Elastic SIP Trunking
45 cents/minute for origination and 7 cents/minute for termination
5 cents/active user per month
15 cents/minute per participant
$120/month for up to 10,000 visitors
$1/active user hour or $150/named user, per month (5,000 hours are free)
1 cent per flow execution (1,000 flow executions per month are free)
In this Twilio review, the provider earned a perfect score on general and niche features as it offers a full range of APIs, making it easy for businesses to pick capabilities and add more as their communication needs grow. With its comprehensive documentation, developer teams are able to understand codes easily and see sample applications. Go to Twilio Docs to find the API references and tutorials categorized per product and service.
Twilio earned a 5 out of 5 rating on general features, offering all the standard features businesses should consider when choosing a CPaaS solution, including voice APIs. With the provider’s voice software development kits (SDKs), you can add call tracking, global conferencing, masked calling, and call recording to your business apps—capabilities similar to features in the best small business VoIP services.
Build a robust communication system with these Twilio features:
- SMS API
- MMS API
- WhatsApp Business API
- Conversations API
- Email API
- Elastic SIP Trunking
- Phone numbers API
- Lookup API
- Notify API
- Proxy API
If you need a full suite of communication capabilities in a ready-made platform, go for a unified communications solution. It features voice calling, video conferencing, and instant messaging in one single tool.
We gave Twilio’s niche features a 5 out of 5, as it has video and user verification APIs, excellent analytics tools for specific APIs, and robust data security controls. The platform is certified under the international standard for information security management ISO/IEC 27001 and supports TLS 1.2 encryption.
Below are some more advanced solutions Twilio offers:
Twilio Flex is a cloud-based, highly customizable contact center. As an omnichannel solution, it supports inbound voice calling, messaging (SMS, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp), email, video, and in-app chat.
The platform allows businesses to integrate data from customer relationship management (CRM) systems, helping agents better understand the context of customer concerns. Users can also configure call flow and build custom routing logic, improving agent and customer experience.
This low-code, no-code application builder uses drag-and-drop widgets, allowing users to create different communication capabilities—from IVR systems to chatbots and SMS auto-responders. Since Twilio Studio is a visual builder, it’s easy to see the entire communication workflow and edit elements. To test draft flows, select the Trigger Widget and add phone numbers to the Test Users section.
This feature is a system that assigns tasks, such as phone calls, support tickets, leads, and other work items, to agents or teams with the most relevant skills to handle such tasks. It gives real-time updates on the state of the tasks, classifying them as “pending,” “reserved,” “assigned,” “canceled,” or “completed.” Skills-based routing improves the contact center’s efficiency.
Frontline is a programmable mobile app for sales engagement and relationship management. It integrates with different CRM systems like Salesforce and HubSpot, making all your customer information readily available in one place for agents’ easy reference. The platform enables users to set custom routing logic and edit message templates sent on WhatsApp.
We rated Twilio a 5 out of 5 on customer service because it offers 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support, as long as you have a paid support plan. The support plans are Developer (free), Production (4% of your monthly spend or $250 minimum), Business (6% of your monthly spend or $1,500 minimum), and Personalized (8% of monthly spend or $5,000 minimum).
The Personalized plan has a dedicated technical account manager and a support escalation line. All the paid plans have a guaranteed response time within an hour to nine business hours, depending on your plan.
Twilio earned a score of 3.25 out of 5 for ease of use because while it’s easy to set up, maximizing its features requires the expertise of professional developers. The setup takes only a couple of minutes, with users signing up on the provider’s website and verifying the account through their personal phone number. Once verified, you’ll have access to the Twilio Console Dashboard, which shows the products and services on the main menu.
As for using the APIs, your dev team should refer to Twilio Docs for the code snippets, instructions, and tutorials. Although extensive, the documentation is easy to follow.
In this Twilio review, the provider received a high expert score of 4.13 out of 5 because most of the reviews on third-party platforms commended its features. Some appreciated the extensive range of the provider’s API, while others praised its easy-to-follow documentation.
Some users liked specific features, namely the messaging notifications and the low-code, no-code app builder Twilio Studio. Here are the user ratings at Twilio reviews on third-party platforms:
- GetApp: 4.6 out of 5 based on 353 reviews
- G2: 4.6 out of 5 based on 403 reviews
- TrustRadius: 8.5 out of 10 based on 149 reviews
How We Evaluated Twilio
To evaluate Twilio, we looked at six factors that we think are the most critical to consider when businesses choose CPaaS platforms. We also referred to reviews on third-party sites to better understand how the tool’s strengths and limitations affect actual users.
Learn how we evaluated Twilio by clicking on the tabs below:
15% of Overall Score
We checked if the provider offers a free plan and discounts for annual billing and bulk purchases. We looked at the affordability of SMS and voice APIs, considering how much it costs to send and receive messages and calls.
25% of Overall Score
The availability of messaging and voice APIs was part of our evaluation of general features. We gave the provider more points for providing support for various programming languages. We also considered the provider’s service level agreement (SLA).
25% of Overall Score
The niche features we assessed were video communication and user verification APIs, data protection certifications, and analytics and reporting capabilities. We give more points to developers with robust security measures.
10% of Overall Score
We checked if the provider has live chat, phone, and email support. Higher points are given to providers offering 24/7 customer service.
10% of Overall Score
We assessed how easy it is to set up the system and if users need to have the technical expertise to use it. We also evaluated the intuitiveness of the platform’s interface.
15% of Overall Score
This covers our evaluation of the provider’s ease of use and popularity. We also included our expert opinion on its value for money and standout features.
Twilio is an excellent CPaaS platform offering a wide range of APIs and other customizable communication systems. We recommended it for businesses that want to build their own infrastructure or upgrade existing business platforms with new functionalities like SMS, voice calling, video, and email. With its pay-as-you-go pricing scheme, you’ll be able to manage communication costs as you scale operations. Sign up today for Twilio’s free 30-day trial.