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]