The iPhone world is rejoicing over the "it's about time" cut-and-paste feature in the just-released 3.0 version of the device's operating system. But I'm willing to bet that another group breaking open the champagne right now is the team at Twitter.
Not to mention the makers of Twitter iPhone apps.
Everyone knows that the reason that cut-and-paste was the most-heralded new feature in iPhone OS 3.0 was that for the first time, it would allow people to move content around between applications, be it between a browser and a note, or from a weather app to a text message and so on. Clearly, then, being able to paste content into Twitter means that for the first time, using the service on an iPhone will approximate the depth of using it on a computer.
And that means that just as global Twitter awareness is going through the roof because of its role as the primary communications platform for rapid fire news developments from and related to post-election Iran, the service is going to get another massive boost from what I'm predicting will be a new huge influx of iPhone users.
Think about the tens of millions of first-gen or iPhone 3G owners, not to mention iPod Touch users, who are going to migrate to OS 3.0. And then add all the iPhone virgins whose first experiences with the device will be on a $99 iPhone 3G with OS 3.0. Or who will go straight to the 3G S.
I would argue that many of those people either have never used Twitter before or have had limited exposure to it, either on their existing iPhones or other mobile devices, or online. Now, with what is sure to be a rush of attention to the fact that it will offer never-before-seen possibilities to someone using an iPhone to participate fully on Twitter--meaning sharing ideas, copying URLs and so forth--I think Twitter is about to see a giant spike in usage.
To be sure, many people will move their already significant Twitter use from their computers to their iPhones. And already, many people are using Twitter on their iPhones every day. But adding the element of being able to paste content into your average Twitter app from elsewhere on the iPhone is going to make the service one of the biggest winners of all.
People may argue that Twitter has yet to reveal a business model, but they certainly can't argue its growth. No one knows how many new users the Iran election has brought, or will bring, Twitter. But with OS 3.0 coming hard on the heels of the turmoil in the Middle East, it's hard to imagine any one service going through two such potentially game-changing events in such a short period time.
No one, of course, could have predicted the situation in Iran. But the release on Wednesday of iPhone OS 3.0 was on everyone's radar. So I wonder if, when the Twitter team blogged about the "significantly increased" network capacity that came as a result of Tuesday's now famous server maintenance-related downtime--famous because the U.S. State Department asked Twitter to postpone the downtime in order to facilitate continued #IranElection posts--they were really hinting at the service's ability to handle any iPhone 3.0-related rush of traffic and new users.
Of course, even as Evan Williams and Biz Stone, et al., are toasting Twitter's latest good fortunes, one would imagine they're also praying to the god of server stability.
On June 21, Geek Gestalt will kick off Road Trip 2009. After driving more than 12,000 miles in the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest and the Southeast over the last three years, I'll be looking for the best in technology, science, military, nature, aviation and more in Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. If you have a suggestion for someplace to visit, drop me a line. And in the meantime, join the Road Trip 2009 Facebook page and follow my Twitter feed.