updated 08:40 am EDT, Tue October 18, 2011
Twitter gets big kick from iPhone integration
Twitter chief Dick Costolo said at the Web 2.0 Summit late Monday that iOS 5 had been one of the biggest helps to its adoption rate in recent memory. The signup rate for the service tripled on just the day iOS 5 went live, he said. Because it was "frictionless" for the user, it was performing better than expected, and the company was seeing much more use of its official photo uploading service.
The executive went on to characterize Apple as a logical fit for Twitter. While Google was in race with Google+ to feature-match Facebook, Twitter embraced Apple's philosophy that intentionally leaving features out led to a better focus. Its goal was to make social networking simple, Costolo explained to the San Francisco audience.
He wouldn't explain why Apple had integrated with Twitter but not Facebook, which many have taken as the result of a temporary fight between Apple and Facebook over privacy. "You'll have to ask them," he said.
Twitter is increasingly depending on mobile for its success and could chart some of its growth to it. The company grew from 100 million updates every day at the start of the 2011 to 250 million today and has seen mobile grow 40 percent every quarter. iOS was key by introducing those who weren't aware of the apps, but it also depended on getting even to basic feature phones, which might not work if the service got too complex.
"We think that we can be on two billion devices around the world, and reach every person on the planet," Costolo said, "and the way to do that is through simplifying."