Google, Twitter to Let Egyptians Tweet by Voicemail

Google (GOOG) and Twitter have launched a phone service that will let people in Egypt send out tweets, even though the country's Internet service has been effectively shut down.

Users will be able to call a phone number and leave a voice message, which will then be translated and tweeted with the #egypt tag, The Guardian reported.

The service uses Google voice software.

"Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service – the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection," Ujwal Singh, Google's product manager for the Middle East and north Africa, wrote in a blog post. "We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time."

Protestors in Egypt initially used the Internet and social media to coordinate demonstrations. As pressure on the government grew, it effectively shut down the country's Internet infrastructure.

President Barack Obama criticized the move and called for Egypt to restore access to cellphone service, Internet and social media "that do so much to connect people in the 21st century."