For the Apple-centric, Apple-desirers, and Apple-nutcases, a (World Wide Developers’ Conference) is worth two offered by mere mortals – even those on Cupertino’s payroll. This past week in California, Apple announced a number of features that focused on a ‘post-pc’ world (not a world without personal computers, but a world in which the personal computer is but one device among various access points to ‘the cloud’).
The features were all a part of new operating systems – iOS 5 for iPhones and iPads and OS X, Lion, for the computers. For our chat today, though, we want to focus on one aspect of iOS that is getting some attention for how it might skew social networks come September: Apple integrated Twitter access throughout its iOS 5 package.
What that integration means (at first glance; alas, we at MKCREATIVE don’t have access to prototypes from either Cupertino or Redmond) is that any interface the user enjoys with the network (web browsing, video watching, sports catching-up, er… ‘reading’ …) can be connected to one’s Twitter account at any time. All without downloading any unique Twitter software.
In practice, one could visit a website and send a section of that site in a tweet – all with a touch of the screen. Same for news feeds, email, or photos (Note to self: stop following my Congressional representatives).
If we were to build an argument from silence, then the keynote address screamed “Forget Facebook!” Not a word about it in an hour and 40 minutes of presentation that focused on cloud/media/social sharing, which is a long time not to bring up Mark Zuckerberg‘s pet project – the one with well past 500 million users.
But many pundits believe the issue is not really the breadth of users but the wrestling over control of each user’s experience. Apple doesn’t like others sticking their hands in the bushel basket. Facebook wants a hands-off-our-stuff relationship with its partners as well. So the two are not likely to work out a 50-50 compromise. Moreover, have been drawing closer together – albeit without much benefit for the latter. Apple and Microsoft are not known for their warm relationship.
What the integration will certainly mean is the need to think about each word and image that a nonprofit, charity, or small business puts on its website and materials in the cloud. Not that we expect you have a group of boxer-shots on your site (unless your company happens to be Fruit-of-the-Loom), but each and every part of your public face could be a discrete tweet to a much larger world. A nice summation of questions to ask yourself and your colleagues was posted byin response to Apple’s announcement:
When creating a new piece of content, always think about why a user would want to read or watch this. What are they getting out of the content? Would they share this content with a friend or colleague? If you cannot answer these questions, then it probably does not belong on your website. If you content is resourceful and helpful to your online community, then Twitter is a method for letting everyone know about it. By adding a link to your Twitter account on your website, you can let people who are already interesting in you know how to stay in touch with you as you grow but what about people who don’t already know about you?
Is your organization ready to share not only its whole message but strategic parts of that message to followers of followers?