Twilio vs. Nexmo

Twilio and Nexmo allow businesses to add texting, calling or authentication capabilities to their apps or websites. Since there are few companies that offer these features, you may already be somewhat familiar with Twilio and Nexmo if you ever are asked to enter your phone number online for a text message verification. These are two popular platforms, so it makes sense to compare and contrast them. Both are Platform as a Service, a similar concept to Software as a Service (SaaS), except with software platforms.

Key business uses of these platforms:

  1. SMS/Text Messaging
  2. Phone Calls
  3. Account Verification

If you are looking to add phone functionality to your website or software app, you will probably need to choose between Twilio and Nexmo before you begin your project.

Many businesses use these two platforms to add VoIP features to their websites for marketing and advertising purposes, text message verification or other uses. VoIP subscribers can use Twilio or Nexmo for a variety of sophisticated internet applications and integrations.

Twilio and Nexmo have differences and similarities in these key areas:

  • User Experience
  • Platform Design
  • Developer Documentation

1. Twilio vs. Nexmo: User Experience



For users that are not developers, Twilio has a decent user experience and has beginner-friendly features. The platform makes sending and receiving phone calls fairly straightforward, so you can quickly get the software up and running. Upon first running Twilio, the platform will ask you if you want to stay in the Developer Console or begin integrating Twilio with another service or partnering SaaS solution.

As you start to set up the platform, Twilio carefully guides you through the process and outlines each step so you understand what is involved and how to begin using it with your website or app. Using thorough explanations, diagrams and other helpful resources, Twilio may make it easier to set everything up, even if you are not a developer yourself.

TwiML is the markdown language of Twilio, and if you need help understanding how it works, the platform guides you through using TwiML. It even asks you the question, “Did it work?” regularly to make sure the platform is working as intended and that you understand what is happening.

Twilio offers online user tutorials for their products.

If you are a developer, Twilio has additional helpful resources that explain how to use the platform and integrate Twilio with your website or app. Later on in this article, we will discuss the developer resources Twilio offers.


This platform places a higher priority on keeping everything simple and having a clean interface than Twilio does. As you open Nexmo, you find a clear, carefully-organized space with few unnecessary icons and functions. Nexmo wants you to get started quickly working with the development side, so it features guides to help you start right away with development and website integration or app integration.

Since Nexmo starts you right away with development, the platform can be more challenging for users who are not developers. Nexmo wants you to have some understanding of code and the development process in order to start using the platform and making phone calls or integrating Nexmo. It may be more difficult for beginners to use, so you may need a basic level of development knowledge if you want to effectively use Nexmo. Twilio, in contrast, can be used on a basic level by coding beginners and users who are not developers.

2. Platform Design: Compare and Contrast Twilio and Nexmo

The two platforms both have a clean, fairly straightforward interface, but they have some key differences as well. While it may seem superficial, comparing and contrasting the appearance of software platforms can help users find the right platform. Many users are more comfortable with one console or the other, so you should carefully consider the layout, ease-of-use and visible appearance of your software platforms. If you can find everything you need easily, that is a possible sign of well-designed software.

  • Appearance: Both Twilio and Nexmo have a sleek appearance and attractive icons.
  • Organized Layout: Nexmo is somewhat biased towards developers and organizes information accordingly. Twilio anticipates non-developer users and tries to make information quickly available to non-developers.
  • Clutter: Both platforms do strive to have the most important information readily available, but Twilio’s user-friendly design may make it seem more cluttered than Nexmo. Nexmo’s interface is geared more towards a developer audience. As such, many developers may find the Nexmo interface to be cleaner and easier to use.

3. Twilio vs Nexmo: Developer Documentation

Both Twilio and Nexmo offer developer tools and resources so developers can quickly begin integrating APIs. It is really important for a software platform to have these tools, because they allow development teams to optimize their apps and integrations for that platform’s unique features and offerings.

The Nexmo Developer (Beta) documentation.


Within Nexmo’s documentation and tools, developers may find the resources they need to quickly get started integrating Nexmo APIs. Nexmo offers different sections with unique resources for every development need. Thorough explanations, detailed diagrams and rich graphics make it easier to read and follow along with the information.

Many popular programing language guides are available in the Nexmo documentation, such as Ruby and C#, so developers can find help with whatever programming language they plan to use to code each project.


Twilio has Quickstart guides, API guides, Tutorials, and more to help you quickly get Twilio running. You can also look up a specific programing language, platform or other category to find what you need right away. Many of Twilio’s documentation guides have interactive elements and added graphics that make it more user-friendly and easy to understand at-a-glance. With rich information and resources, the concepts behind using Twilio are more accessible than they would be as plain text. Even developers, after all, often want a friendly interface and readable information.

Is Twilio or Nexmo Better for My API?

Both platforms have a variety of features, rich applications and appealing consoles. Your choice of Twilio or Nexmo may come down to your level of coding knowledge, interest in developing the API yourself and whichever software platform you believe to be more accessible.

These two platforms can both help you with online SMS, SMS Text Message, VoIP, online phone functionality and other features you may need for your website or app. Both companies offer similar services.

Tips to Get Started with Twilio or Nexmo

  1. Compare the two services and decide to try one (or both). Look at the features and functionality, then make an educated guess and choose to try the service you think fits best for your business.
  2. Sign up for service and get an API key. There may be a free trial or discount available, so it is worth investigating and comparing offers.
  3. Try the platform’s interface. What do you think? You should practice with your own phone number and see how it works. If you have a development team, you should really consider their input, too.
  4. Begin developing and testing your app. This can be a long process, so by this point, you should decide between Twilio and Nexmo so you can save effort and minimize backtracking later on. Happy coding!

Use our Best Price Tool to Find The Right Business Phone System For Your Business

Compare The Lowest Prices From Only The Best Business VoIP Providers

This will help us match you to providers
designed for your company's size.