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Google Announces New 'Tweet' Service for Egypt


The Internet search engine Google says it has launched a service designed to help people in Egypt send Twitter messages, in spite of the government's efforts to limit Internet access.

Google says it worked with a "small team of engineers" last weekend to come up with service that allows people to "tweet" by phone.

Google says with its so-called "speak-to-tweet service," users dial an international phone number and leave a voicemail message. It says the service translates the voicemail into a written message that is sent on Twitter.

In a Monday statement, Google says it hopes the service will "go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected" during what it calls a "very difficult time."

In recent days, Egypt has taken a number of steps to limit communication between anti-government protesters who have been gathering in large rallies, calling for the resignation of President Honsi Mubarak.

An unprecedented Internet cutoff remains in place in the country, Tuesday.

Separately, Google says its head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa is missing in Egypt.

The company says Wael Ghonim has been missing since last week. His wife has launched an appeal for information on his whereabouts.

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