Careful analysis of the Twitter user experience in the iTunes AppStore revealed massive room for improvement. People are looking for an app from Twitter, and they’re not finding one. So, they get confused and give up. It’s important that we optimize for user benefit and create an awesome experience.
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve entered into an agreement with Atebits (aka Loren Brichter) to acquire Tweetie, a leading iPhone Twitter client. Tweetie will be renamed Twitter for iPhone and made free (currently $2.99) in the iTunes AppStore in the coming weeks. Loren will become a key member of our mobile team that is already having huge impact with device makers and service providers around the world. Loren’s work won the 2009 Apple Design Award and we will eventually launch Twitter for iPad with his help. (Official Twitter Blog)
Although this is great news for AteBits (whose founder is ecstatic right now), this is horrible news for numerous third party developers (like Echofon, Twittelator, SimplyTweet, and TweetDeck) who may have to join the ranks of the gloriously unemployed in the semi-near future.
A similar scenario happened when Tumblr officially embraced Tumblrette on the iPhone (effectively killing off a number of Tumblr third party apps) and we will probably see deja vu all over again as numerous tweet businesses shut down early or let their apps slowly die on the app store.
This probably also means that we will not see too many Twitter iPad apps in the future as well, as the Tweetie team will be taking over development upon Steve Job’s “greatest creation” (at least until next year).
With Blackberry and the iPhone now having mobile apps anointed or assimilated by Twitter, it may be only a matter of time before we see an official Android app as well.