Sending a Text Message via Twilio's API

Twilio is a cloud service that provides a bridge between software and the world of phones and text messaging. In short, Twilio makes it easy to write scripts to send and receive phone calls and text messages.

In this tutorial, we'll go over the steps to sign up with Twilio and send a text message with Python.

Sign up with Twilio

Sign up here. Trial users are given an allotment of free messages to send and receive, though you will need a phone number.

Experiment with the API

Before we try out sending a message via Python, let's use Twilio's web API Explorer: click here to go to the message-create action

In the To field, enter the phone number to which you want to send the text message. Then, in the Body field, put in the actual text message:


Scroll down to the bottom. Twilio's API Explorer has a helpful panel showing you the actual code behind the message-sending action. The Curl tab contains a version you can copy-and-paste right into your Unix terminal. Click on the Python tab to see the code equivalent in a Python script.

When you're ready to send the message, hit the red Make Request button; don't worry, it won't cost you money to send a trial message out:



OK, now that we've seen how Twilio works on a high-level, let's try to send a message via a Python script.

pip install twilio


via Twilio Python Helper Library documentation:

from import TwilioRestClient
# Your Account Sid and Auth Token from
client = TwilioRestClient(ACCOUNT_SID, AUTH_TOKEN) 
#    to = "+15556667777",    # Replace with the number you want to text
#    from_ ="+15558675309")  # Replace with your Twilio number
#    Note that the parameter is named `from_`, not `from`
message = client.messages.create(to = "+15558675309", 
  from_ = "+15556667777",
  body = "Oh, you don't know me, but you make me so happy"