Twitter CEO Points to Apple as ‘corporate mentor’

Yesterday, Twitter CEO  Dick Costolo said in an interview that the company views Apple as a “corporate mentor” because of the two companies’ common focus on simplicity. He also mentioned that iOS  signups for  the service have increased three times since the release of iOS 5 (which was on October 12th) .

Twitter iPhone iOS 5 integration

While being on-stage at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco this Monday, he indicated that he expects the results from the partnership with Apple  to be “even better” than originally thought, reports GigaOm. According to the CEO,  daily signups for Twitter from Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices jumped up more than three times on the first day that iOS 5 became available.

Earlier this year, Apple introduced a system-wide level of Twitter into iOS. The benefits from this partnership  with Apple are much greater than just increased users. Costolo also said that  Apple is a like-minded company because of the restraint it exercises on its products, suggesting that  he views the Apple as a mentor.

Those guys [at Apple] are an amazing partner for us. When they think about products and enhancing products they think about editing them,he was reported as saying. [At Twitter] we’re going to offer simplicity in a world of complexity… they’re a corporate mentor to us.

Costolo also confirmed Monday that Twitter is worth $8 billion.

Popular Twitter Client, MetroTwit, Launches a paid Plus Edition

MetroTwit, one of the most popular Twitter clients for Windows, released version today. Along with features and performance updates, MetroTwit also announced a Plus edition a paid edition that removes the recently added in-stream ads and provides the upcoming multiple Twitter accounts support.


Developed by Long Zheng, David Golden, and Winston Pang, MetroTwit draws inspiration from Metro design language and provides an elegant and clean user interface with intuitive features that provides a seamless Twitter experience. Build using .NET and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), MetroTwit is one of the better designed native Windows apps and the best looking Twitter client.

The latest version brings in 140proof as the advertising provider that puts contextual ads in your Twitter stream. 140Proof, the social stream ad platform, reaches millions of digital consumers via real-time persona targeting. However, users can buy MetroTwit Plus, a one-off upgrade to remove ads and future access to the planned multiple-accounts support for professional users.

MetroTwit Plus comes for AUD$ 14.95, and can be bought via PayPal. Your MetroTwit Plus unlock code will be emailed to your PayPal email. The team clearly isn’t too hard-lined on licensing, and allows you to use the same unlock code on as many of your computers with MetroTwit installed.

While I’m a regular MetroTwit user, staying clear of the other popular AIR-based apps, I’ve really been looking forward to support for multiple accounts. I’ve alternately used web-based service Hootsuite and the other native Windows app, Seesmic, for working with the multiple accounts that I manage. The feature is a welcome addition, however, it is left to see if users are ready to pay for an app when there are several other apps with similar or more features.

10 Must-Have Free iPad Apps

I have been bewitched by Apple products ever since I got my hands on my first iPod in college (a generous gift). My old friend, the iPod, has since been retired from my service, but still continues to bring music and entertainment to my dear ones. The time was ripe and on cue, I was bewitched by another Apple product. Enter the iPad. I moved from my initial skepticism (Oh, why do I even need something like that?) to pure delight when I got my iPad 2.

Having an iTouch may be enough for some folks,   but when you get used to it, suddenly, screen size does matter. On my iPad, I love reading e-books, watching videos, and even making notes on the larger, scrumptious 9.7-inch LED screen. The larger onscreen keyboard is a life saver for the days when my fingers feel especially pudgy. Having a front- and rear-facing camera is an added bonus for my many video chats. Still no flash though, sigh.

Here are my Top 10 Must-Have Free iPad Apps

1. Kindle Cloud Reader

Being a big reader, I experimented with lots of free e-book readers from iBooks to Kobo to Stanza (to name a few). What really sold me the Kindle Cloud Reader was its beautiful interface and the constant fresh fodder (e-books) from the Kindle store. You have to use a very basic shopping concept here, good deals are only found if you regularly check what is on the clearance rack. Every day, the store provides fodder of a different genre. The magic is that I can pick some really good stuff for free! I also do not miss having a book spine on the screen (as is seen in iBooks).

2. Terra

The default mobile Safari browser is not bad. I like my browser tabstoo much to settle though. Terra is simple to use and I can open as many tabs as I want. It is strong on privacy; I can browse without saving anything in History, and I can set a pass code for my History and Bookmarks. (The following image is from

3. Instagram

I have cheated a bit here. As of now, its interface still looks like that of a stretched iPod app (the fit-to-screen type). But, I (and another 10 million users) love the simplicity and pure ingenuity of  Instagram’s many fun filters. It’s easy to link to Facebook and Twitter too. This app is good news considering there aren’t any good photo-editing social networking apps.

4. Flipboard

This app creates a magazine from my numerous networking-site feeds. My updates from Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, and many other sites, are much easier to manage as a result. I mainly use Flipboard to save all my favorite stories to be savored at my leisure. Flipboard also won Apple’s iPad App of the Year award.

5. Evernote

This popular app is a lifesaver. I make about a dozen notes a day on the Evernote cloud. It is easy to get used to it.


6. Dropbox

This is another amazing cloud app that offers 2 GB of free space to its users. I can’t imagine how I lived without it. I can save and manipulate my data, as if on my local desktop, using Dropbox.

7. Skype

The beauty of having a camera on the iPad is that I can make a video call on a full screen with Skype while catching up with other friends. Who in the world is not on Skype?

8. NPR

This news app beats NY Times, WSJ, and many others because it does not have the painful limited (or paid) viewing of its content. Its articles are open to everyone. I enjoy the latest NPR news broadcast, or simply listen to its playlist of songs.

9. Twitterrific

There are numerous Twitter apps. An ideal app, in my opinion, is one that I get the hang of in less than 10 seconds. Twitterrific fits the bill. It is simple and intuitive. It has not failed me yet, so I see no reason to jump to TweetDeck.

10. AccuWeather

I believe that it’s good to have more than one source to check my weather forecast. AccuWeather is an American company that provides (reasonably) accurate weather forecasting services worldwide. The interface is clean and presentable. No overload of information here. The hourly update on multiple locations is a nice touch.

Bonus Free iPad App

11. Talking Larry the Bird

In a nut shell, Larry repeats what you say to him in his own ducelent tones. Its too much fun for a human.

Facebook Will Soon Let You Auto Post Updates To Your Twitter Account

fb-iconSoon after Twitter introduced an official way to sync Tweets to your Facebook account, Facebook wants to return the favor.

The social site will soon let you auto-publish all your Facebook updates on Twitter, which includes status updates, photos, videos, events, notes and links that you have shared publicly on your Facebook profile. At this moment, Facebook allows users to sync updates from only applications and pages, but this feature will be extended to user profiles in coming weeks, as reported by BBC UK

This makes perfect sense, because Facebook is slowly expanding its reach by opening multiple flood gates, one at a time. Improved friend lists, the subscribe button, a dedicated messenger app, improved notifications different flowers of a garland. Interestingly, Facebook’s new subscriptionsystem works the same way as Twitter’s Followfeature does, where you can subscribeto anyone’s Facebook posts and read them, as long as the person in question allows subscriptions. Apparently, Facebook wants to extend their subscription system beyond Facebook, encouraging users to post their updates on Twitter, automatically.

To test it out, go to and you will be asked to chose the pages whom you want to link with a Twitter account of your choice. You will see this page only if you are the administrator of at least one Facebook page or have created a Facebook application with your Facebook account.


After you have linked your Facebook page with a Twitter account, you will be prompted to choose the updates which needs to be synced across both social sites.


Save the changes and you are done. The autopilot mode will take care of publishing the same update on your Twitter account.

While this is great news for social junkies, there is something both Facebook and Twitter have missed the ability to selectively send updates from one social site to another. I don’t want all my Facebook status updates posted over at my Twitter profile but I want only selected ones which makes sense. People don’t want to end up having an exact duplicate profile on every other social site and those who do it are either unfriended or hidden from the news feed.

As long as the synced updates are on a brand or business profile, it’s a fair practice. The moment you take auto-posting to a personal level it becomes nothing other than spam. People are already sick and tired of the same updates on every other social profile of yours and they want something human, which relates to them, not YOU.

I am just wondering why once upon a timerivals are shaking hands silently.   As they say When a common enemy (Google Plus) advances, smaller ones break walls and build bridges.

Twitter To Debut An Analytics Suite For Web Publishers This Week

There is an old saying If you are not tracking conversions, you are throwing stones in darkness. As long as there is sound on the other side, you are at peace. The moment something goes wrong, you lose all those stones.

Google Analytics is by far one of the best web analytics programs but one shortcoming of Google Analytics is that it is not very good for measuring social traffic received from Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. As the owner of a website, you can’t determine the conversion funnel from social sites, as easily as you can do for organic traffic.

Some questions to ask:

  • How many users are hitting the tweet button and then reading another page on my site?
  • How much portion of the Twitter traffic is converting at my sales page? Did they used that tweet button or clicked a shortlink on Twitter?
  • Which users frequently tweet my posts and dig deeper into the site? How much time are they spending on the site?
  • Which Tweet button are they clicking? Are they clicking the one in the top or the one just below the article body?

Google Analytics can answer a few, if not all of these questions. But if there were an in house Twitter analytics program for web publishers, that would have been great. Nearly every other site has embedded that Tweet button, so only Twitter can understand how users engage with millions of links shared on Twitter every single day.

The good news for website owners is that Twitter is debuting Twitter Analytics a new set of tools which will help you measure the traffic received from and measure the effectiveness of your Tweet Button integration.



Twitter announced the launch of its Analytics program at TechCrunch Disrupt today, clearly focusing on measuring the sharing attributes of users across different platforms. Twitter gets a massive amount of Share loveevery single day and wants to help website publishers better understand and engage with their audience. Twitter Web Analytics will be rolled out this week to a small pilot group of partners, and will be made available to all website owners within the next few weeks

Using the new Twitter analytics suite, you would be able to track quite a good number of important metrics. Click through rates of short links that point back to your site, tweets that were sent from the tweet button on your site, tweet from an incoming link, weekly an daily statistics are some common examples. In addition, you would be able to retweet and respond to tweets, directly within your Twitter analytics dashboard. The analytics program will also let you track any number of domains or subdomains and not just a single site of yours.

Twitter   acquired social analytics startup BackType in July before acquiring TweetDeck, another popular desktop application for Twitter. So it appears that introducing an in house analytics suite was part of the plan.

Did I mentioned that Twitter’s analytics suite will be completely free?


NBC News Twitter Account Hacked – Posts False Ground Zero Tweets

Two days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the NBC News account (@NBCNews) was hacked and false information has been spread about Ground Zero being attacked by Flight 5736.

NBC News Twitter Account Hacked

The account seemed to be hacked around 15 minutes ago and tweeted 2 Ground Zero attacks tweets and also changed the DP in one of the tweets. The fourth Tweet said that

NBCNEWS hacked by The Script Kiddies. Follow them at @s_kiddies!

This is definitely sick and scary at the same time. Hopefully, the people behind this stupidity will have some more sense. The folks behind NBC are aware of the issue and are fixing it. We have reached out to them for more information.

Story developing..

Update 1: The s_kiddies account has been deleted by Twitter, however, the NBC News hacked tweets have not yet been deleted.

NBC News Hacked Twitter Description

Update 2: The hackers have now updated the description and URL of the NBC News account.

Update 3: Twitter has suspended the @NBCNews account for now. Ryan Osborn, the directory of Social Media at NBC has tweeted that NBC are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it.

Twitter Now 100 Million Strong

The Twitter Blog announced today there are now 100 million active users of its service around the globe. It was only five years ago, when @Jack sent the first Tweet to his humble seven followers. Fast forward to today, and that number is a whopping 1.7 million + followers. Wow! It just shows the exponential growth Twitter has experienced in such a small amount of time.

Twitter’s global, and now with the International Space Station’s use,  outer space reach, transcends continents, languages, and many cultures. In the coming weeks they hope to add more languages by “launching Hindi, Filipino, Malay and Simplified and Traditional Chinese”. They pride themselves on giving a voice to many people around the world. They also say that Twitter is more than just Tweeting. According to the blog “40 percent of our active users simply sign in to listen to what’s happening in their world”.

There is no doubt that Twitter has changed the way our world communicates. From government agencies to news reporters, from Athletes to their coaches, entertainers, preachers, non profits, and everyone in between, Twitter has become the loudspeaker from which we all speak. The Twitter blog was quick to point out how it has enabled ordinary citizens to become news breakers. For instance, the first picture of the US Airways Airplane that landed in the Hudson River.

Twitter you have reached a significant milestone, one you certainly should be proud of. I wish Twitter all the best and hope the best is yet to come for their future.

Looks Like Bing and Twitter are Renewing the Search Deal

So, this one’s fresh off the Web’s water-cooler that is Twitter. Bing and Twitter did a Twitter conversation that hints at a renewed search deal between the two, or at least some announcement around the same.

(Read from bottom up to the top)image

While this is also a dig at Google who lost the search deal, it could just pave way for a fresh announcement around Bing-Twitter deal. While Bing has made good strides in several search verticals like travel, it struck a fine deal with Twitter two years ago that allows it to use Twitter data for its real time search queries. Twitter’s search, for all it’s worth, is far from being useful allowing searching only past few tweets. Bing had earlier also integrated social information from Facebook within the search results making them more relevant.


While this conversation was on, Stefan Weitz, Director of Bing at Microsoft added fuel to the fire by posting a message to Jessica Verrili who handles Business & Corporate Development at Twitter.

While Twitter and Bing do the harmless flirting in the preview, I’ll grab some popcorn and wait for the show reel.

Twitter Now Makes It Easy To Cross Post Tweets To Your Facebook Account

One of the most annoying things regarding maintaining multiple social sites is to update your profile with the same status message. You have different setsof friends in every other social site and you want a simple way to share the same update with everyone. There is always the classic copy paste option but most people prefer using apps that automate the process.

My favorite way to cross post tweets to Facebook is selective tweets, which posts every tweet as a status update on my Facebook account that contains a specific hash tag. While this works pretty good, looks like soon I won’t be needing such apps anymore.

Twitter has just rolled out a new feature which lets users post tweets to their Facebook profile. All you have to do is login to your Twitter account, go to Settings > profile and connect your Facebook account. Remember to choose Post your tweets to Facebookbecause this is exactly what you want to do.


Once you have linked both the accounts, all your tweets will be posted on your Facebook profile as status updates; barring direct messages, mentions and replies. This is a really easy way to share the same update with both Twitter and Facebook friends but there is a slight disadvantage.

Unlike selective tweets – Twitter’s own cross posting feature will post each and every tweet on your Facebook profile, which will surely annoy your Facebook friends over time. If you tweet a lot and love ranting on Twitter, I would like to suggest that you keep yourself away. I would prefer sticking with selective tweets because this app lets me choose the tweets I want to post to Facebook and not every other random tweet, without any control whatsoever.

In my opinion, there is a huge difference between the nature of Twitter and Facebook audience. The former is geeky while the latter is sticky and very large in number. School friends, office colleagues and friends you know are very active on Facebook while Twitter is full of professionals, geeks and enthusiasts of a specific topic. They might tolerate your rant but Facebook audience will quickly hide your profile from their news feed, if you bombard them with irrelevant updates every other minute.

In recent times, Twitter has been aggressively pouring new features and trying to shake the dirt and step up a little. They acquired TweetDeck, rolled out an in built photo sharing feature and updated the way links are shortened and shared on any Twitter   platform. Now that the cross posting thing is made live on most Twitter profiles, will they go ahead and add the option to automatically share an RSS feed on your Twitter profile? Feedburner has it since ages   and every other Twitter user who writes a blog, is happily using Twitterfeed or another RSS to Twitter service for posting updates on Twitter.

Now looking at the path Twitter has crossed, I am very sure they will copy ideas like scheduling tweets and come up with an in house solution shortly.

Without any doubt, these features make the Twitter experience better for everyone but at the same time these inbuilt enhancements makes life hell for third party app developers. These are the people who had the original idea and they spent their valuable time, money and resources to foster an idea and made it popular in the first place. These are the people who are to some extent, responsible for Twitter’s overwhelming popularity.

Look at TweetDeck, TwitPic, Tweetmeme and the whole bunch of URL shorteners do you need any more examples? I can smell these features coming one after another because Twitter devs have learned their lesson keeping things simple isn’t just enough. There is a thing called Crowdand if your competition is getting neck high, just copy the stuff that’s already popular and add them one after another.

Previously, I developed Twitter applications. Now I am a cartoonist

Mobs and Riots – British Solution is Social Media Censorship?

ban social mediaThis year we’ve seen democracy protests in Egypt, flash mobs in Cleveland and Chicago, and most recently, rioting, looting and fires in England. What do all of these have in common? They have all been enabled to some extent by social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

What is the most natural reaction of a big government to a problem caused by social media? Naturally, they try to ban or censor it. We saw this happen in Egypt, when Mubarak shut down the internet. We’ve seen how Pakistan has shut down Facebook. It seems like more and more countries are following China’s great example for isolating people from news and social networks.

So what would you expect from the politicians of Britain? It looks like the impulse to protect people from the Internet (for their own good) isn’t absent in Britain, after the riots there. A report from (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) provides a quote from Prime Minister Cameron which displays another misguided swipe at free speech in social media:

…when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality. I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers.

video of London riots

Is this what England needs? Do they need police powers to censor social media? Of course they do, after all, it worked so well in Libya and Egypt. We’ll know more about what’s going to shake out from the rhetoric once members from social media services Facebook and Blackberry RIM meet with UK government officials on the 25th of August.

I hope that freedom wins over a restrictive political solution. As Ben Franklin once said “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.

The police need more understanding of how social media works, and not more power to stop it from working.