When it comes to sharing content via mobile applications, Facebook is the most popular social media tool, but Twitter users are more active individually. That’s the key finding of a new study by app analytics firm Localytics that looked at usage across thousands of apps on Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 devices from January through July.
Overall, 20% of mobile apps include Facebook and/or Twitter buttons for sharing material through the respective social networks. Within that group of apps (with more than 500 monthly active users), half chose only Facebook while most of the rest made both Facebook and Twitter available. Only 1% offered only Twitter for social sharing.
Given that Facebook users outnumber their Twitter counterparts by a ratio of 6 to 1, it’s not surprising Facebook drives twice the number of recommendations as does Twitter. Taking into account the size difference in their active user bases, Twitter generated 50 sharing “events” per 1,000 users versus 11 per 1,000 Facebook users.
Both Twitter and Apple hope to capitalize on that activity through the micro-blogging service’s integration into the forthcoming iPhone 4S. It will provide users a single login for Twitter that will allow tweeting easily from Twitter-enabled apps including Apple’s apps such as Camera, Photos, Contacts, Maps, and Safari as well as YouTube.
“With Apple’s decision to implement Twitter deeply into iOS 5, this higher rate of sharing for Twitter users becomes very interesting,” stated the Localytics report. “If this combination manages to bring Apple’s massive iPhone user base into Twitter in large numbers, iOS app developers may see Twitter swiftly overtake Facebook as the most valuable social integration.”
Sales of the latest iPhone are off to a strong start, with Apple Monday reporting pre-orders for the device topped 1 million in the first 24 hours. That beat the previous single-day record of 600,000 held by the iPhone 4. Its still be too early to predict exactly how the special Twitter integration in iOS 5 will play out.
Localytics emphasized that in-app social tools of any kind can be useful not just for word-of-mouth marketing but for providing feedback that informs content selection. “By creating a Share’ event with different social media outlets as attributes (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.), publishers can see in real-time which [news] stories are trending higher in social networks and more aggressively promote them within their apps,” stated the report.