The way that Apple has integrated Twitter into its two operating systems, first iOS and then OS X, has been nothing short of a massive victory for the service. While the details have never been known, hints of integration with rival Facebook have always teased those that follow these companies.
At today’s Apple shareholder meeting, CEO Tim Cook had a couple of things to say about these topics, reports CNBC. Cook says that integrating the service has been “great for Twitter”, but also “great for our users.”
The deep integration with iOS has benefited Twitter in a quantifiable way, with CEO Dick Costolo saying that the service’s signups are up 25% worldwide since the release of iOS 5.
But Cook also addressed the Facebook question, qualifying that he thought of the company as a ‘friend’. “We do a lot with them, our users use Facebook an enormous amount. I’ve always thought the two companies could do more together,” said Cook.
Evidence of Facebook integration into Apple products including iOS 5 — and even back to iOS 4 — were found in pre-release software, but when the final product was revealed, it was Twitter that had scored the integration, not Facebook. Twitter scored a huge win there, basically scoring an immortality clause for the service. And there was a lot of talk about Apple and Facebook butting heads over the use of the API for Ping sharing and how that caused a lot of friction.
But now it appears that Apple’s new CEO is willing to at least entertain the thought of working together more. Both OS X and iOS feature an ‘Accounts’ framework, implying that more sharing services can be supported, but they only officially support Twitter as of now. Interestingly enough, Mountain Lion actually has a set of APIs available that would give Facebook the ability to add a ‘share to Facebook’ option to OS X, but it would have to gin that up on its own, and a partnership would be so much sweeter.
Hopefully this new positivity means we’ll see a Facebook share sheet in iOS and Mountain Lion sooner, rather than later.