Twitter Buys Tweetie, Kills Off Third Party Apps (For iPhone And iPad)

Right after giving their blessing upon the official Blackberry Twitter app (made by RIM), Twitter now has decided to buy Tweetie from AteBits, and releasing it to the masses for free.

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.


  1. iPhonaholic says

    Nothing against Tweetie, but it was only because of its market entry timing that it did as well as it did. Twitter is offering it for free to that it can serve as a vehicle to their advertisers’ messages to the mobile community. At least the iPhone mobile community.

    Twitter just screwed over ever app developer that they have enticed to develop for their platform over the last several years, by entering into direct competition with them using predatory pricing (free) tactics. I hope Twitter is preparing to “do it all themselves” when it comes to any future apps. They may well just have to!

  2. says

    I wonder what that means for the Tweetie desktop app which is still the most ‘fun’ app but sorely in need of an update. Oh well, I saved $2.99 by not upgrading to Tweetie 2.0.

  3. says

    I was just reading a post somehwhere about how twitter’s new direction would be to provide official clients and how it would kill off third party support. It’s amusing in the saddest way to see it actually happening.

    That press release however is not cool. As if it’s that hard to find a twitter app and thanks heavens Twitter is providing something that market so desired.. come on.

  4. says

    I wonder what this means for the new Twitter app on the Blackberry. I have been testing it since it came out and love what it has to offer. Do you think Twitter will buy that out too and take control?

  5. says

    Hmm… this seems great for guys like me! I have been looking for one official Twitter app to use on my BlackBerry, and I don’t use anything else right now.

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