Twitter looks to iOS 5 integration to drive developer innovation

Hours after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed its new iOS 5 operating system update will include deep Twitter integration allowing users to sign in once and then tweet directly from all Twitter-enabled apps--among them Photos, Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps--with a single tap, Twitter itself stated it will extend the single sign-on capability to developers as well, enabling the creation of more social mobile app experiences. "Developers of all of your favorite apps can easily take advantage of the single sign-on capability, letting you tweet directly from their apps too," wrote Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey last week on the company's blog.

In a subsequent interview with All Things Digital, Twitter director of platform Ryan Sarver said the company expects direct iOS integration to profoundly impact the shape and scope of applications developed around social interaction. "Now literally every iOS developer can be a Twitter developer," Sarver said. "We think every app is going to benefit from instant personalization from this social layer, from gaming to utilities to enterprise apps."

According to Sarver, Twitter anticipates Apple's reach and marketing acumen will translate to an increase in user registrations. "And the other side of that is, our job as a platform provider is to create opportunities for developers and that really helps in the form of growing the user base," he said. "We really hope to drive tons and tons of app downloads. We think that's really important. Apps may help in building Twitter but we want to drive their user acquisition as well. We think there's a really huge opportunity to be the second biggest driver of downloads next to the App Store just because that social layer adds a whole new discovery channel. We think it's going to increase this virtuous cycle between sharing great content, seeing where it was created, and than having users go download that app."

Twitter's relationship with the developer community remains strained: Earlier this month, the company unveiled its own integrated photo-sharing service to rival third-party solutions like Twitpic, Yfrog and Flickr, continuing its efforts to institute official branded applications in place of third-party services. A March 2011 post on the Twitter Development Talk forum credited to Sarver made it clear that the days of third-party client applications are officially numbered: "Developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no," Sarver wrote. "We need to move to a less fragmented world, where every user can experience Twitter in a consistent way."

Twitter now boasts over 200 million users worldwide, with the total number of daily tweets increasing to 155 million in the first quarter of 2011, up from 55 million a year ago. Twitter reports that monthly account signups increased 52 percent worldwide between December 2010 and March 2011, with U.S. growth topping 57 percent. Mobile continues to play a dramatic role in the microblogging service's growth, with a 50 percent increase in monthly unique mobile signups during the first quarter--the Twitter for Android application experienced a 104 percent increase in monthly use during the quarter, with Twitter for iPhone growing 55 percent and Twitter for BlackBerry up 51 percent. Mobile tweets now make up over 40 percent of all Twitter posts.

For more:
- read this All Things Digital article

Related articles:
Twitter CEO: Mobile experience must be the same across all devices
Twitter activity surges to 155 million tweets each day
Study: Third-party Twitter clients generate 42% of tweets
Twitter declares war on third-party client apps