Facebook and Twitter Apps on Your Third-Generation iPad
iOS 6 is much more friendly to social media than it appears at first glance. Although your iPad doesn’t come with official Facebook or Twitter apps, support for the two most popular social networks is baked right into iOS 6.
At first glance, it appears the iPad is light on social media support. The Game Center and the Ping feature in the Music app are the only signs of social media on a brand new iPad. With iOS 6, the YouTube app is no longer part of the package. If you upgraded from iOS 5, you probably noticed that it disappeared when you installed iOS 6.
You can find free apps for Facebook and Twitter (and many others) in the App Store, but iOS 6 lets you install the Facebook and Twitter apps without even having to visit the App Store. Just tap Settings→Facebook (or Twitter), and then tap the Install button to install the app.
You don’t necessarily need an app to participate in social networking. Unlike the iPhone, where the Safari experience is hampered by the tiny screen and keyboard, the websites are eminently usable on your iPad. So, check out the Facebook and Twitter websites.
The first thing to do, regardless of whether you intend to use the apps, is to tap Settings→Facebook and Settings→Twitter and provide your username and password for each service you intend to use. This will let you share photos, maps and directions, videos, URLs, and much more by tapping the Share button and then tapping the icon for Facebook or Twitter.
The Facebook iPad app makes it easy to access the most popular Facebook features with a single finger tap.
Note that the first native iPad version of the Facebook app, which came out in late 2011, has a slick interface with quick access to many popular Facebook features.
On the other hand, Safari can’t provide push notifications for Facebook events such as messages, Wall and Timeline posts, friend requests and confirmations, photo tags, events, or comments, whereas the iPad app does all that and more.
The bottom line is that there’s nothing to prevent having the best of both worlds. So if you’re a heavy Facebook user, consider using the Facebook iPad app for some things (such as push notifications and status updates) and Safari for others (such as reading your Wall or News Feeds).
Twitter puts a slightly different spin on social networking. Unlike Facebook, it doesn’t try to be all-encompassing or offer dozens of features, hoping that some of them will appeal to you. Instead, Twitter does one thing and does it well. That thing is letting its users post short messages, or tweets, quickly and easily from a variety of platforms, including web browsers, mobile phones, smartphones, and other devices.
Twitter users then have the option of following any other Twitter user’s tweets. The result is a stream of short messages like the ones shown.
A tweet is 140 characters or fewer (including spaces). This tip, for example, is precisely 140 characters. Bottom line: omit needless words.