Some airlines allow you free access to messaging services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp but you have to pay for WiFi. What if you could access a site like Wikipedia via a messaging app to bypass the paywall? Alex Ellis found a way using Python, the Wikipedia API, Flask, and Twillio.
You may remember a post I wrote about saving WhatsApp photos using Python and Twilio and the concept is very similar except we’re accessing a different site via an API. Alex managed to get a full page about cheese over 20 messages but said the the user experience was “also pretty rough”:
[…] maybe we’d want to allow for an easy way to get to the next page? Maybe paginating so you don’t get the full article all at once? Maybe sending a section at a time, so if you’re really just interested in the history of the harmonica, you don’t have to get to the rest of the page?
Nothing quite kills the fun of a silly side project like having to do anything real for it, and as soon as I started to read the guidelines for the WhatsApp Business API and integrating with other Meta services, I realized I wasn’t going to go through with setting this up as a publicly-available service. Feel free to set your own up, though!