Apple’s iOS 8 software is one of the company’s most important mobile releases to date because it introduced several features that could turn out to be major assets not only for Apple, but also for consumers and businesses. Features like Apple Pay, HealthKit and HomeKit might become critical to some companies, making iOS devices more important than ever for their bottom lines. But there also appear to be other features, or lack thereof, that can significantly hurt certain companies.
Twitter on Thursday announced Q4 earnings results and posted better-than-expected revenue and earnings, while also missing Wall Street’s month active user (MAU) target.
The popular social network had 288 monthly active users in the December 2014 quarter, 7 million fewer than expected.
Interestingly, and somewhat unexpectedly, Twitter CFO Anthony Noto and CEO Dick Costolo said that some 4 million active users were lost following Apple’s release of iOS 8, which took place in mid-September.
“There were two [iOS 8-related] issues. One was Safari auto-polling, and that was 3 million users and we don’t expect to get those users back,” Twitter’e CEO said, as noted by Business Insider. “The other issue that was more complex was an encryption issue related to the Twitter integration into iOS, such that when users integrated, a lot of them weren’t able to launch Twitter successfully. That was a much more complex issue, it did not have a one-size-fits-all fix, so the team here worked as quickly as possible to address it but it caused a large number of users to not be able to use the product, even those who were trying repeatedly to figure out ways to get in.”
While Twitter might be right to blame Apple for such a significant loss of active users, the fact that so many people chose to stop being active on the social network simply because of Safari changes on iOS or password problems seems to indicate they weren’t really all that active to begin with.
Nevertheless, this goes to show how critical Apple’s mobile operating system is to yet another type of business, social networks — even for well-established companies like Twitter.