Tweeters React to iPad 2

Days before Apple released it's new iPad 2, the Twittersphere was already abuzz.

Let me get one thing out: I don’t like the iPad. Not the style, not the look, and definitely not the name. But all the noise in the Twittersphere surrounding this new product leaves me wondering how market research companies will start to engage with social media to measure consumer reactions.

A recent article in T3 Magazine chronicles some tweeters reactions:

@d_whitehouse:

Thinner than an iPhone 4 and white? No, not the new iPad 2. John Galliano’s penis.

@TheWordMagazine:

Fancy new iPad screen auto-cleans screen. What about my fingerprint collection?

@Eamonn_Forde:

It’s “dramatically thinner” (33%) DO NOT MAKE A “JUST LIKE STEVE JOBS” JOKE, PLEASE…

@Chris_Brain:

Announcement: iPad 2 includes pen & paper.

Forty years ago, marketing executives were paid top dollar to stay on top of customer responses to their products and services. Before our digital information age, most of this research was done manually: marketing companies would sent of consumer questionnaires to collect data surveying the general public’s opinion.

Today, social media sites like Twitter provide instant commentary on just about everything, including reactions to products. Searching “iPad 2” in my Twitter account pulls up 30 tweets in the last hour – and that’s only within the small circle of people I follow. With a few clicks of a mouse, I can find thousands of online reactions to the new product – reactions that in previous years would’ve taken hours or even days to collect.

Does this mean marketing analysts will be out of jobs? Well, no, but what it does mean is that marketing executives better become web savvy if they want to keep their jobs, and one way to do so is to learn to approach Twitter as a useful tool for gauging consumer reactions.

According to DigiTimes, Apple expects to ship 40 million iPads 2’s in 2011 at the projected rate of 4 million per month – triple the per-month number they shipped in 2010. With all those iPads 2’s, it seems someone at Apple has done their homework. Will the iPad 2 live up to its expectations? Only time – and Twitter – will tell.