phonefriday is my entry for the Twilio/Twitter developer contest. It's the classic game of telephone we played as kids, but with a modern spin (Telephone meets Follow Friday meets Chatroulette).


  1. Follow phonefriday on Twitter.
  2. Wait a minute or two for phonefriday to follow you back. (You need to be following each other because the game makes use of Twitter's Direct Message feature.)
  3. After phonefriday is following you, send it a direct message like this: "play [your phone number]" For example, play 3105551234.
  4. In about 5 minutes, the phonefriday bot will call you. Pick up and say "hi." If you're the first one, you'll be asked to record a message. Otherwise, you'll hear the message the previous player recorded and it's up to you to pass the message along.
  5. After everyone has had a turn, you'll all be sent a message on Twitter with the URL of the final recording. Since it's also a play on "Follow Friday," it's good etiquette to follow the people you played with.
Screenshot of phonefriday.

Like the real game of telephone, phonefriday works best when you play with others (around seven people is a good number), so get some Twitter friends together and give it a shot!

technologies used


Why do I have to say "hi" when the phonefriday bot calls me?

The Twilio API tries to detect whether a human picked up or an answering machine. Unfortunately, if you don't say anything when you pick up, it assumes it reached an answering machine and hangs up.

Why do I have to wait a few minutes for the phonefriday bot to follow me back on Twitter?

Since Twitter doesn't have an "auto-follow" feature that automatically follows anyone that follows you, I had to make my own. The system relies on the e-mail Twitter sends out when you get a new follower, so there is a slight delay.

Why do I have to wait for a game to start?

People need time to join a game. For the purposes of this demo, I have games set to run every 5 minutes so you don't have to wait as long. If phonefriday is released to the general public, an hour would probably make more sense.

When I follow the URL to listen to the final recording, I can't hear anything. What's up with that?

phonefriday makes use of the HTML5 audio tag (because it rocks), so you'll need to be using a modern browser, like Safari or Firefox.

How long did it take you?

About two days.

You're quite the handsome fellow. Can we be friends?

Oh my. Yes, yes we can. You can find all my info at Or e-mail me directly at