Protestors in Egypt call for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

Google launches speak-to-tweet service for Egypt

Google has launched a special service to allow people in Egypt to send Twitter messages by dialling a phone number and leaving a voicemail, as Internet access remains cut off in the country amid anti-government protests.

The service, developed with Twitter engineers, allows people to dial a telephone number and leave a voicemail. The voicemail is automatically translated into an audio file message that is sent on Twitter using the identifying tag #egypt, Google said. No internet connection is required.

"Like many people we've been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground," read a post on Google's official corporate blog.

Internet social networking services like Twitter and Facebook have been important tools of communications for protesters in Egypt who have taken to the streets since last week to demonstrate against the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

Internet service has been suspended around the country and phone text messaging has been disabled.

Dozens of the so-called speak-to-tweet messages were featured on Twitter. The messages ranged from a few seconds to several minutes and featured people identifying themselves as Egyptians and describing the situations in various parts of the country.

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