Twilio, in an attempt to bring some attention to their APIs that allow organizations to “build scalable, reliable voice and text messaging apps” easily, released their “Callin’ Oates” app.

Adam Clark Estes at reports, on the latest viral phenomenon:

Michael Selvidge only started his job in Twilio’s communications department three weeks ago, but he’s already scored his first viral marketing hit — practically by accident and all thanks to one retweet from New York Times tech reporter Jenna Wortham. In case you missed it, the Callin’ Oates meme is just a phone number (719-26-OATES) and an answering machine (“Welcome to Callin’ Oates: Your Emergency Hall and Oates Hotline”) that prompts you to press a number to hear a song by the dreamy duo Hall and Oates (“To hear ‘Private Eyes’ press 4”).


According to the The story, about 58,000 people had called the number in the 8 hours since New York Times tech reported Jenna Wortham retweeted the phone number to her 428,000+ followers.

This fun story highlights both the ease of development that Twilio offers and also the scalability of the service.  Maybe this bit of whimsy will bring some attention to the many practical Twilio-powered applications that are popping up. See the click-to-call button on our website, for example.

Twilio is fortunate that it’s relying on it’s own service for this virality and spike in traffic. Twilio charges its customers at least one cent per minute for a phone call. Its not clear what Hall and Oates are getting paid.