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Summary:

What would Apple have to gain from system-wide Twitter integration? How about an easy way to make your iPhone a social device, independent of apps, and without having to change its DNA in order to figure out how to do social right itself?

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What would Apple have to gain from system-wide Twitter integration? Think about how many steps it would take out of your daily app usage experience if you could sign in once, and then use Twitter-based sharing and discovery tools in every app that hooked into them without having to login again. It would also make your personal device a social one without the need of intermediary software. A lot of rumors circulating this week point to that being a real possibility for iOS 5.

Robert Scoble, blogger and tech evangelist, tweeted Friday that “Apple is building Twitter in deeply into iOS5″ and that we’d see what he was talking about next week at the WWDC 2011 keynote on Monday. Scoble seems incredibly confident about his source, who he cites as “someone who built the Twitter integration into iOS5.”

Scoble claims to have known about Twitter integration in iOS “for months now,” and though he responded to multiple requests for details with only the repeated statement that we’ll learn more on Monday, he does claim that it will go “a lot deeper than just photos,” referring to a recent rumor about system-wide photo-posting capabilities in iOS 5. It also won’t be just the addition of simple “send to Twitter buttons” for links and other content, he said in another tweet.

As with any unconfirmed rumors, take this one with a grain of salt. It’s also worth considering that reports circulated back in April that Apple had planned Facebook integration in iOS 4, but pulled it at the last second, so the company does seem to be thinking about how to bake social media into the OS. Social is also a weak point for Apple, which has yet to pull off any networking features of its own (Ping, for example). It’s a weak spot for Google , too, and shoring up that strength with an outside partner might be a good strategy if Apple wants to beat Google on that front.

Note also that on Tuesday, John Gruber, who has a great track record when it comes to predicting Apple products and features, said in response to a TechCrunch story describing iOS 5 Twitter photo sharing that it was “[s]o close to the bigger story, but yet so far. Imagine what else the system could provide if your Twitter account was a system-level service.” Imagine indeed. What do you think Twitter integration would or wouldn’t bring to the platform?

  1. Would be a smart move on their part. Social is NOT going away, why not embrace it, integrate it and improve on the interaction aspects of it quicker than the rest of the field.

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  2. Andrew Macdonald Friday, June 3, 2011

    This would be fantastic, but the way I see it, unless they are also integrating Facebook on a system-wide level, whats the point in adding Twitter?

    Yes Twitter is mighty popular, and has millions of users, but in terms of purely the userbase, Facebook has sooo many more.

    Twitter integration on the iPhone might turn out to be an amazing feature – who knows what Apple has on their minds, but I think Facebook should be as equally, if not MORE important, to Apple.

    P.S. – Im not some guy who dislikes Twitter, I use it every day with 6,000 followers, so it’s a massive part of my daily routine, but I just think Facebook is just as important as Twitter is.

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  3. How is this different than what Android already does with Facebook and Twitter?

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  4. I still can’t understand the point of Twitter. If this rumor is true, maybe Steve Jobs will get up on stage next week and explain it.

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  5. iTwitter – that may work for Apple Inc.

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  6. The really compelling thing, which no one seems to have suggested yet, is that every Twitter user could instantly become an iCloud subscriber. Immediate media domination.

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  7. To answer the question as to why no deep integration of Facebook, I would say it is because it would give more power to Facebook and apple does not want to do that especially when rumors persist that Facebook is working on their own phone ala android. Twitter integration into iOS will give twitter an instant boost. I have said all along that Apple should buy Twitter.

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  8. Is this a wonderful new feature of Apple’s enhanced user experience?

    Or a dark day for our privacy?

    http://cgwpublishing.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-do-you-get-when-you-cross-twitter.html

    Do you want your iPad telling the world where you are? Or what website you just visited? Do you want it sending emails on your behalf based on a special offer from a store you just visited? Do you want Google maps to show you, in real time, where all your friends are right now?

    After all, you might find out something you wish you hadn’t. Like one of your friends is round your house, right now. And they’re not playing Angry Birds.

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