Here's an interesting read on iOS integration with Twitter that was unveiled at the WWDC keynote on Monday. What was surprising was the deep level of integration that no one had expected Apple to do. In one post I read, the blogger said Apple essentially gave Twitter immortality Take the meaning as you will, this is a relationship that benefits both firms.
Also, I was listening to a podcast, 5 By 5, where John Gruber guessed that the relationship between Apple and Twitter is different from say Apple and Facebook, which is on the rocks, hence, its exclusion from iTunes, resulting in Ping's failure.
This came back to when Apple and Google broke their marriage. Apple has learned from it. Gruber said just as much and in the deal, there probably was a clause in which Apple would have the rights to veto any takeover of Twitter by another company or that Apple will have the first chance to purchase Twitter should the need arise. Such a clause would provide Apple the confidence it needs to know that Twitter has no plans to become a competitor or be used by a competitor like Facebook, Google or Microsoft.
Regardless, I can see some amazing things for iOS and the Mac from this. Right now, the company with the most to worry about here is probably Facebook. But relationship between Apple and Facebook can't be all that bad if is including fields in Contacts for Facebook (as well as a few other social networks).
Could Apple develop an app that serves as an umbrella platform for social networks the way Trillion, Meebo, or Adium does for the various instant messaging services? Could that be what iMessage will one day evolve into? Also, it would rock if we can tweet directly from iMessage as well.
iOS 5 is still in the first beta and I'm sure we'll see more about Twitter integration in the coming months. The final version of iOS 5 will ship this fall, presumably with this year's new iPhone and iPod touch.