After seeing Tweetie 2 (which Twitter purchased in April) disappear from the app store, the official Twitter app is now live upon iTunes as of this moment, although unfortunately only for those living in New Zealand.
Ethan Rose was able to provide screen shots for those of us who (foolishly) waited past midnight in vain, which reveals several new features, as well as one ugly icon (that will probably become an eye sore for iPhone lovers everywhere).
Thus far it seems as if push notifications and filters were not included with the latest update, although there are a few new changes that may please (or tick off) the tweeting masses.
Aside from improved speed, it looks as if Twitter for iPhone has moved the retweet button to the main swipe menu. This is probably Twitter’s attempt to kill off old style retweets (aka “quotes”) which will probably infuriate a few fanboys.
While this move will benefit third party developers like Echofon, Hootsuite and SimplyTweet (who need every advantage that they can get), we will probably see more users quote less and retweet more on Twitter (as retweeting requires less energy than quoting).
Twitter has also integrated its (in)famous sponsored tweets within the official app, although thus far the ads only appear during searches.
Although a few users will probably complain about this (especially when Twitter decides to integrate this within the timeline), overall the ads do not look that intrusive, and naturally blend within the app.
Combined with premium accounts, sponsored tweets should help the micro blogging company keep the lights on, as well as give companies a way to subtly market their products, services, etc. to the masses (and perhaps help them kill off rumors or bad press as well).
This last addition will probably infuriate developers, as Twitter has not yet made this feature available outside of the official app.
The suggested users list should help new users feel more comfortable joining the twitterverse in general, especially since the new Twitter app does not require users to have an account to view twitter from their iPhone.
We may see third party developers roll this feature out upon their respective apps as well, although they will probably not be pleased to see it upon the official app first instead of the API.
There are probably more features coming to the official app, although thus far it looks like a decent app overall (minus the ugly icon of course!).
If anyone else has any additional screenshots or info to share (especially those of you who are able to download the app), feel free to let the rest of us “waiting souls” know by commenting below.