Integration into iOS 5 gives Twitter big boost in signups

Oct 18, 2011
Tech

If you weren’t on the Twitter bandwagon before iOS 5, you probably at least have an idea of what it is now. The social networking service is something of a competitor with Facebook, and despite the uber-popularity of Mark Zuckerberg’s company and its corresponding network, it was Twitter that was able to secure a partnership […]

If you weren’t on the Twitter bandwagon before iOS 5, you probably at least have an idea of what it is now.

The social networking service is something of a competitor with Facebook, and despite the uber-popularity of Mark Zuckerberg’s company and its corresponding network, it was Twitter that was able to secure a partnership with Apple. The release of iOS 5, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, sees Twitter baked into it at a fundamental level. Snap a photo with the camera — why not share it on Twitter? Enjoying a web page in Mobile Safari? Turn it into a Tweet with two taps. The integration brings a whole lot of instant connectivity to some of the basic functions of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

And already, it seems, Twitter is feeling the positive influence of being a big part of the Apple wheelhouse. The iPhone 4S has sold more than 4 million units, according to Apple — all running iOS 5 —and more than 25 million devices have been upgraded to the new software. That’s roughly one out of every three devices eligible for the upgrade (older-generation devices can’t quite handle iOS 5). And all of them include Twitter integration now.

According to a story from TechCrunch, Twitter’s signups have tripled since the release of iOS 5 last week. The numbers come from Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo, who announced them this week at the Web. 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. He also said Twitter is currently fielding 250 million Tweets per day, up from 100 million per day in January and 90 million in September 2010.

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Twitter currently has 100 million users globally and 50 million who log-in every single day, Costolo said, s well as an $8 billion valuation, according to a story from Business Insider. Back in January, only 30 percent of Twitter users were active in the service every day.

It’s true that Twitter is growing pretty rapidly, and it should get even more help from Apple’s influence spreading it to more and more users. But while Twitter is improving, it’s still working to cover its costs and isn’t quite pulling down a profit yet. But it has some ambitious goals, Costolo said, and it sees Apple as its “corporate mentor,” GigaOM reported.

If Twitter and Apple really do start to build a relationship like that, it could be very cool for both companies. We might see new moves from Twitter based on the capabilities iOS might provide for it, and new features created in iOS based on more Twitter innovation. Any forward motion could potentially be made by both companies, and that means new services for those of us who would use them.

That’s pretty forward-looking, but I like the possibilities of a long-term partnership between Twitter’s social capabilities and Apple’s do-everything devices.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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