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Apple makes Huge Announcement about Twitter

I regularly take classes for college students and often I ask them the following question, “How many of you use Facebook?”… the response is inevitably unanimous. In fact I don’t think there has been one class where any student was not on Facebook. Following closely behind is my next question, “How many of you are on Twitter?” Rarely are there more than one or two lonely hands waving in the breeze.Apple Makes Huge announcement about Twitter

Gen Y and the younger generations who have grown up with a smart phone in one hand, an iPad in the other and a PC embedded in their DNA have not really taken to Twitter. They often ask me “What’s the point?” The reality is that they don’t get Twitter.

So Facebook dominates the latest generations psyche in social networking and also for most other generations for that matter.

Will Twitter ever get the mind share and market domination that Facebook commands on the social web?

Apple just last week made an announcement that just might change the game.

Maybe this announcement could be foreboding for Facebook that missed out on this gig with Apple with new data showing that in May it lost nearly 6 million users in the USA.

Will Apple’s Announcement Change the Social Media Universe?

Apple announced that Twitter will be deeply integrated within Apple’s new iOS 5 Operating system. The implications of this news seems to have escaped most press pundits but maybe it was because it was lost in the noise and clutter of  nearly 200 new upgrades to Apple’s software for iPads, iPhones and iPods.

From birth Twitter was built for the mobile phone with a 140 character limit and third party apps such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite working well on Apple. So this synergistic marriage between the two companies has the potential to shake up the social media fraternity.

What are the implications of this announcement for Apple and for Twitter?

I think the effects will be major and the ramifications will rumble through the web over the next few years. The other reality to keep in mind is that the mobile smartphone use will far exceed laptops and PC’s as the Web becomes increasingly mobile and wireless.

With Morgan Stanley predicting that mobile Internet usage will exceed desktop by 2015,  Apple and Twitter have now booked themselves a  place at the front of the queue of the two of the fastest growing trends on the web, mobile and social networking.

5 Implications of the Twitter Apple Marriage

1. More People will Sign up to Twitter

With Twitter built into the native menu system and apps it will make it compelling for people (and maybe even Gen Y) to sign up to Twitter. The synergy of the numbers are huge (Apple has more than 200 million people using its operating system and Twitter  has over 200 million users). The question will be how many will now join up to Twitter to take advantage of tweeting and sharing with their friends seamlessly from within Apple’s operating system. My read on this is that we will see a huge increase in  the growth of Twitter.

Screen shot of Twitter within Apples native menu system

Apple makes Huge Announcement about Twitter and here is a screen shot of Apples native menu system with Tweet embedde

2. Apple gets Access to Over 200 Million Twitter Users

This will provide more impetus for people to buy the Apple devices from the iPad to the iPhone. Adding a seamless and low friction environment to share with friends will add even more allure to Apple’s magical brand that has disciples and raving fans rather than just customers.

3. Apple Now has a Social Network

Apple has known it was lagging badly on the social web and instead of trying to compete in a space where it isn’t strong this partnership will provide synergy and impetus for both brands. The beauty of this integration of Twitter within the iOS 5 operating system is that people can share content and information within Apple’s menus without having to go out to the Twitter app or third party apps.

Apple makes Huge Announcement about Twitter

4. Twitter gets Access to the 200 Million Apple Users and Over 500,000 Apps

It will make a lot of sense and provide  a compelling reason for app developers to be scrambling to weave Twitter into their features and functions. So with one stroke Twitter will now start to be integrated into over half a million software applications that will spread on the global mobile ecosystem.

5. Apple Apps will be able to Leverage Twitter to Spread their Brand Seamlessly

Twitter has shown to be a highly leveraged and low friction network  and the effects for apps to to spread will be multiplied by this decision. According to Techcrunch the social networking questions and answers platform Quora says that any Tweet sent from Quora results in 30 retweets, resulting in huge traffic and apps could potentially see a similar effect. Using a built in Tweet Sheet feature (essentially a Tweetbox that overlays on top of any app), any app can leverage Twitter’s network effects

So did Apple make the wrong decision with integrating Twitter rather than Facebook? I think not. The synergies and the two companies are complementary and this  marriage will have major repercussions on  several market segments including mobile, apps and social networking.

My Big Brave Prediction for Twitters Future Growth!!

Twitter will add one hundred million users in 12 months once the iOS5 hits the streets!

What do you think?

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Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Anonymous

    Jeff I believe you may be right about 100 million new Twitter users. Actually it could well exceed that.

  • Pretty huge news for sure! Thanks for digging it out for us.

    I agree: you will see a much tighter integration of Apple and Twitter folks, but not sure on the 100 million more, at least not due to only Apple. Many of the Apple hipsters are already Twitter users, so I’m skeptical there will be that much pop.

    Will definitely be something to watch in 2011!

  • Awesome. Facebook is the face of all evil. Twitter rules.

  • Seanmalarkey

    God – I cant wait to to be able to tweet links from my iPhone. I read so many good articles while sitting on the backporch late at night from my phone. This will be so nice.

  • Jeff, you are amazing.  Yes, finally a game changer to get more Gen Y on board.  Now my question is how do we have that be a win for us all and not another level of noise to filter.

  • Yep. Add a tweet button to the OS.. more Apple genius.

  • Darleen

    Yes already I have heard from my Gen Y children and Baby Boomer husband that maybe they should figure this Twitter thing out. Apple genius for sure!

  • On Facebook work social games. How work social games in Twitter?

  • Nope. I know a lot of people who don´t even know they can double-click the home button to multitask. 90% of users only use 50% of the functionality.. or maybe even less, don´t have any empiric data on that at hand.

    Twitter will add some users for sure, but I doubt it will be a hundred million people.

  • Good points save one: Twitter does NOT have 200 Million active accounts. While they don’t give out numbers, it is estimated that there may be as few as 20-40 Million accounts with at least 10 followers/following, so that it is very unlikely that even counting very irregular lurkers we are looking at more than 80-100M. 

    The rest: Bots, spam, placeholder accounts, and worst of all, TONS of abandoned accounts, because as you state yourself, lots of mainstream folks tried it and just didn’t get Twitter (use cases).

    Do an analysis of your own account on refollow.com, and it will likely tell you for the 30 day and 90 day inactives calculation, that there are 1/4 to 1/3 more or less dead accounts in your follower list.

    Recent surveys have shown that only about 6-12% of U.S. consumers use Twitter, while Facebook is clearly at over 50%.

    More details here: http://alexschleber.amplify.com/2011/04/23/is-twitter-massively-overrated/

  • Apple should hang loose or they may get bruised. Ever increasing Cupertino noise on astronomic marketing numbers, emphasis on the galactic number of credit card holder iTunes accounts, blah, blah and most recently the mega investments in a monstrously-sized iCloud data centre (ahem mining-factory) smells suspiciously like the accountants are taking over. It’s now all about data mining – and the mega piles of cash Apple can get by tracking and then churning over what, when, how, who with, where, how long we do stuff. iTunes, iAds, CoreLocation and iCloud it’s just the start, lumping twitter into iOS is a clever way of leeching into and feeding off data piggy-back style from the most up to the minute social network. However as fast as Twitter is, I’ll belong gone before the thought police knock on my door asking why my iPhone 13 hasn’t been used in 49 hours and accusing me of crimes of not complying with page 51 of iTunes account terms & conditions concerning the timely collection and submission of my daily life-data. So go tweet this on your iOS device. Apple I’m on to you and the future’s not looking bright – in fact it may be Orange unless you’ve already unleashed the fruit police.

  • Not really seeing that there will be a big shift in the Twitterverse as a result of this. But time will tell.

  • As an Apple user for the past decade and Twitter lover, I’m thrilled with this news! Delighted to have discovered your site at last! Already see where I need to read your iPad posts. 🙂

  • Shai Shamir

    I wonder what this will do to service providers when sharing photos will become easier. With a single click many people will start loading photos. Yet another data explosion?

  • Shai Shamir

    I wonder what this will do to service providers when sharing photos will become easier. With a single click many people will start loading photos. Yet another data explosion?

  • Twitter has tons of room for improvement if it is to become truly useful.  I have found little I can do without 3rd party apps to make my twitter feed anything but overwhelming.  Facebook has come a long way in developing mechanisms for social promotion of ideas / links / media, etc.  The “News Feed” is much more intelligent today than it was a year ago.  Twitter is nascent by comparison.

  • Twitter has tons of room for improvement if it is to become truly useful.  I have found little I can do without 3rd party apps to make my twitter feed anything but overwhelming.  Facebook has come a long way in developing mechanisms for social promotion of ideas / links / media, etc.  The “News Feed” is much more intelligent today than it was a year ago.  Twitter is nascent by comparison.

  • Anonymous

    twitter is news. facebook is DIY postmodern yearbook.
    i’m pretty objective – just squeaked into GenY –  obsessed w/both platforms at different times, for different purposes.
    twitter lacks exclusivity – the whole reason why FB caught on in the 1st place…
    neither does it offer hosting for extreme narcissism.
    i mean u actually have to link-out for that…check minus
    FB collects ur life – all the pics where u look good. all the friends who’ve tagged u in photos. ur education, likes, employment, interests.
    twitter asks u to keep it down, to express urself in 140 characters. as if?!
    just when kids get to leave home and fight the system, their asked to limit themselves?
    not likely.
    that’s so bougggeee-yyyy…(or, “bourgeois” if u haven’t heard dripping disdain in awhile.)

    my bet is they’ll join LinkedIN before Twitter.

    less bots.

    (btw – i’m a full convert to twitter. got tired of listening to same old same old on FB…another kitten…no way!!!)

  • Anonymous

    mortified by misspelling: -they’re- not -their-

  • I am quite looking forward to this. The iPhone is for communication purposes even if the mobile network carriers are not quite happy about this. But over time, the habits change anyway and in the future mobile phone calls and SMS will be not important anymore. Only data packs. An Twitter is one of the communication tools which gives people fast access to information wherever they are.

  • Excellent points.  Twitter is already great and only getting better. 

  • Great post Jeff – but let’s wait and see. Apple doesn’t have the best reputation for social thinking:  http://ow.ly/4m5IJ Cheers, Kees

    • Thanks for the comment Kees. That is what is great about this they don’t have to think about social networking that is Twitter’s role. They are both sticking to their specialty. It is a win win

  • Interesting stuff!

  • Jason Smith

    Yeah it isn’t gonna happen. Twitter is still nicer than PING. How’s that working out?

  • I think more kids will use twitter, its inevitable.  Especially as Apple products will have it embedded as you mention.  Twitter, for myself is a lot more open vs Facebook, it is, in my view, a real social networking site, people seem more open and its a thriving marketplace online.  The next question is where does Google + fit into the picture?

  • Love Apple & Twitter. A marriage made in heaven?! 🙂

  • Rdn11

    I have required my students (first year and seniors) to blog and tweet for the last two years as part of their grade. They must share info related to the class, follow each other and follow industry experts. (I teach ad/pr at PSU). I also communicate important class stuff and allow them to ask questions via DM. They tweet so much that I have to tell them to get a second account to share their drinking accomplishments. As one frosh said yesterday, “I didn’t realize I would love Twitter so much.” Like anything, if taught and shown the benefits, they’ll own it. I also require a 24-hour no media day so they’ll learn why technology is critical and why interpersonal skills are still necessary. #justtweetin

  • Its funny watching the Social Deck getting suffled by the Tech brands – for how long? Is it the Social brands shuffling the Tech brands already? Who has the bigger Klout (sic)?

  • jeevaGovender

    i need to question whether i should get an ipad instead of playbook or galaxy tablet

  • I wish your posts had dates.