Facebook and Twitter Apps on Your iPad - dummies

Facebook and Twitter Apps on Your iPad

At first glance, it appears the iPad is light on social media support. iOS 7 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 7.

You can find free apps for these social media networks (and many others) in the App Store, but iOS 7 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’ve chosen.

You don’t necessarily need an app to participate in social networking. The networks can be fully utilized using Safari on your iPad. And frankly, unlike the iPhone, where the Safari experience is hampered by the tiny screen and keyboard, the websites are eminently usable on your iPad.

If you use Facebook or Twitter, 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.

Facebook from your iPad

The Facebook iPad app makes it easy to access the most popular Facebook features with a single finger tap.

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Note that the Facebook iPad app has a slick interface with quick access to many popular Facebook features, as shown on the left.

On the other hand, Safari can’t provide push notifications for Facebook events such as messages, 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 from your iPad

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.

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A tweet is 140 characters or fewer (including spaces). This tip, for example, is precisely 140 characters. Bottom line: omit needless words.