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Twitter's Sarver: iOS 5's deep integration a win-win

updated 12:25 am EDT, Fri June 10, 2011

200 million devices meet 200 million accounts

Twitter's Head of Platform Ryan Sarver views the recent deal with Apple that brought deep Twitter integration into the forthcoming iOS 5 as a complimentary combination of two big platforms that will offer benefits to Twitter, to Apple, to developers and to the users of iOS devices and their apps, reports TechCrunch.

Sarver had given a presentation on Twitter's new integration in iOS 5 earlier in the day, and spoke about the advantages of instant personalization that the OS-level incorporation brings to any iOS app, and mentioning the possibility that as Twitter expands its own API (for example acquiring its own picture server), apps and iOS have an opportunity to incorporate that directly in.

The revelation that Apple has also baked similar OS-level services in for potential future deals with other networks like FaceBook and LinkedIn may lead to increased value in iOS apps over similar offerings on other platforms, if deals with other services can be worked out. In the meantime, Twitter enjoys increased prestige as Apple's preferred social service -- with the deal coming on top of its already existing interface with iTunes social service Ping.

Sarver also defended Twitter's move to a more difficult OAuth authentication service for third-party clients (some of which it has acquired itself), saying it was necessary to protect users, as OAuth is required for any app that needs to use the service's Direct Messaging function. He said that very few apps should need access to DMs apart from third-party clients, and thus the extra step for them was justified as it kept that level of authorization out of the hands of ordinary apps. "Users probably don't want apps like Angry Birds being able to read [users' DMs] when they don't need to," he told TechCrunch's MG Siegler.

Third-party full Twitter clients will also have to deal with the fact that the official Twitter client is promoted in iOS 5's authentication page. Apple's iOS 5 authentication level for the single-sign-on Twitter integration grants the system access to read and write tweets and the ability to send DMs, but not the ability to read them.

From Sarver's perspective, iOS 5 is likely to become the second biggest referrer for Twitter app growth behind the App Store itself, and says that almost all app developers should be thinking about how to encourage Twitter use to enhance their own apps, leveraging the full range of community and services that Twitter offers. [via TechCrunch]

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not everyone wants... spend their lives tweeting, facebooking & linkedin-ing...
    Please allow users to leave this privacy invading technology uninstalled & unhooked if preferred...

  1. chas_m



    You just don't get it, do you?

    The fact that Twitter integration is in the (i)OS doesn't mean squat unless YOU sign up for a Twitter account *and* YOU decide to turn on this functionality.

    Some people are just ill-equipped to understand what's going on, and should probably stick to a 7-11 phone ... sigh ...

  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I dunno. I honestly don't like the idea of 3rd-party integration into an operating system. I mean, it would be nice if you utilized those social services but what happens if it turns into a fad and blows out like a candle? I hope iOS 5 is smart enough to understand that I don't used Twitter, Spacebook or MyFace. A previous article sounds like it probably does, as long as you don't provide an account name/password. For example, if I get an email attachment, and I click the action button, I don't want to see "Post this on Twitter."

  1. MachineMan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Trendy Integrations

    I'm disappointed that Apple is integrating these social networks so deeply into the iOS. I mean, come on, these are trendy connection vehicles and will eventually fade away for the next most popular social network. Furthermore, isn't there an app for that?

    Although, I'm sure it's just a few header files and algorithms of code that can be removed fairly quickly.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Breaking the OS

    The OS is the OS. It should just worry about being the OS. If they want to add hooks in for things like social networks, that's why they invented an API. And since Apple controls who can put apps on the app store, they can also make sure that nefarious social network sites aren't allowed in.

    Yeah, but what fun is that. Much more important to have it built into the bowels.

    Keep in mind that Apple now has access to your twitter account information, if that matters to you.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And of course it helps twitter. Maybe they get some money out of the deal.

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