Apple’s decision to integrate Twitter into the new iOS 5 will dramatically change apps, and most likely bring some changes to Twitter, too. In a message to Twitter developers, Jason Costa (Developer Relations Leader) announced,
The integration points noted in Apple’s keynote create huge opportunities for both Twitter and iOS developers.
There is single sign-on, which allows you to retrieve a user’s identity, avatar, and other profile data. There’s also a frictionless core signing service, allowing you to make and sign any call to the Twitter API. There is follow graph synchronization, which enables you to bootstrap a user’s social graph for your app. Furthermore, there is the tweet sheet feature, giving your app distribution and reach across Twitter…
We’re holding the event this Wednesday night (6:30pm to 8:30pm) to talk about these key integration points and more, and how you can use these hooks in greater detail.
The single sign-on seems to be similar to Facebook Connect, possibly saving users from having to create an account with any new app they download and letting them instead log-in with their Twitter account. This will be a huge boost of encouragement for iOS users to signup and use Twitter if they don’t already (or use it more). We will also see the ability of these apps to connect users with other friends on Twitter who are also using, or playing, the same app.
The tweet sheet feature will likely allow apps to more easily publish user activity, results, stats, and other messages into the Twitter stream for your friends and others to read. This is a bit disappointing as it will definitely lead to more useless spam, but we’ll see what good may come of it.
Once you’ve switched over to iOS 5, you will find an option for “Twitter” under the settings menu. This is my number one reasoning for why this integration will change Twitter; every new iPhone user, whether they were interested in Twitter or even knew about it before, will be introduced and even prompted to sign-up. From that settings option you will be able to install the official Twitter app, create an account, and sync any of your friends’ emails and phone numbers with their accounts.
The default iOS 5 Twitter enabled features will include Contacts, Photos, Camera, Safari, Maps and YouTube. There won’t be a need for a secondary app to post a location, photo, video or website you’re reading. Each of the applications will have a “share” button that will bring up a familiar looking window where you can add text and finally, publish your Tweet. Posting photos will automatically upload them to Twitter’s photo service. And again, the single sign-on means you will be able to post Tweets directly from any app that takes advantage of this feature.
Thanks to Apple’s integration, Twitter is poised to becoming the second most important social media outlet. iOS 5 will give those users who were unsure about Twitter the easiest opportunity to sign-up and create an account, as well as, a few good reasons to do so.
Well, what does this mean to businesses? Twitter has secured its position in the social media realm and traffic will surely increase. If there was any question whether or not to interact with potential customers via Twitter, you should have your answer now. Jump on the opportunity early and setup unique interactions with your customers. If you have a physical store location, ask users to Tweet a check-in at your location (since the option is now available through the Apple Maps app) or to Tweet a photo of them having lunch at your restaurant for a discount or maybe just for the fun of it. Take a note from Apple and add some Twitter integration. But please, do us all a favor and don’t add to the innocuous spam.