How did people react to Apple's WWDC news?

Based on social media activity, there was significant interest in the news out of Apple's WWDC event last week, with much of it positive.

Apple, iOS, macOS, Mac, WWDC, security, stand, display, Mac Pro

One week on and the industry continues to think about the armada of announcements Apple launched at WWDC last week – but how did the public react to some of the big highlights of what it was saying?

I contacted SEMRush to get some kind of idea.

Search traffic reveals interest in Apple news

We can’t really tell how everyone felt concerning Apple’s announcements during the event, but we can gather a little insight by considering how search traffic around certain keywords changed during the Apple announcement.

We monitored activity around the following words, which were chosen in advance of the show:

  • iOS 13
  • Marzipan
  • iPad Pro
  • Mac Pro
  • WWDC

The idea was that we’d analyze how search traffic for those increased (or decreased) before and during the event.

The words chosen reflect the inexact nature of such science, but it was felt they’d provide some kind of insight. SEMRush monitored search activity on these words for five days before the event and during the event. Here’s what they found:

People are pro Apple's Mac Pro

As you might expect, searches around the term ‘WWDC’ were 15.25 times higher on keynote day than they were for the five days before the show, peaking at 10am when Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage.

Mac Pro was Apple’s big hardware reveal during the show.

The future of the Mac platform and the very best Mac the company has ever made was bound to attract attention, even though it is primarily aimed at the highest-level professional markets. But how much interest did it generate?

A great deal, as it happens.

Searches for the term ‘Mac Pro’ were 6.43 times higher during the keynote than average activity across the preceeding five days. Interest peaked at midday (roughly when the product was announced).

While pundits focus on the cost of the stand, pro users are already agog with glee at the never-before-possible talents of these new Macs, such as the capacity to show three streams of uncompressed 8K video and edit this in real time.

That eagerness extended to sentiment analysis, with SEMRush pointing out that of 22,262 tweets concerning these systems, 59.43% read positive and just 11.55% negative.

The company also saw just 10.11% of tweeters sharing negative opinion concerning the optional $999 XDR display stand and 50.87% being positive about the display itself.

In other words, the majority of people offering social media opinion concerning the new Apple products are positive about them — despite silly media focus on stand pricing.

Beyond the Mac

Apple didn’t just focus on the Mac during its packed 2.5-hour keynote event.

It introduced a huge number of enhancements, large and small — from a more independent Apple Watch to a way more productive iPad, and iPad apps for Macs.

This was reflected in search patterns — searches for information concerning iOS 13 were 18.29 times higher than the average of the preceeding five days, with activity peaking hours after the show at 18.29. 

(It is interesting that searches around Marzipan and iPad pro remained fairly static during the coverage period, reflecting the branding of iPad OS and Sidecar and the lack of a hardware launch.)

It also seems pretty clear that interest was very much focused on the event itself.

Searches for ‘WWDC’ were 15.25 times higher than the average of the previous five days as people checked in for news and information from Apple’s giant developer event.

The take away?

Apple’s most exciting WWDC keynote in some time had something for everyone — so much so that I think we’ll be discussing what was announced for some time, with conversation extending from the big hitters (iPad OS and AI in iOS) to lesser-discussed topics such as the many Maps improvements, or Managed Apple IDs, Sign In with Apple, and account login with Apple Watch.

There's a lot to get through.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.


Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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