Does Twitter Really Need An Official Windows App?
As many of you already know, Twitter has launched an official app upon the Mac Store to compliment their universal iOS app.
Twitter is proud to introduce an appropriately slick and simple desktop application for Mac computers. Twitter for Mac has launched today as part of the Mac App Store.
This app gives Twitter users another fast and convenient way to stay connected to what they care about the most. Tweets appear in real-time (using our streaming API), and the app auto-shortens URLs and has lots of useful keyboard shortcuts. (Official Twitter Blog)
After the release of their Mac app, many within the blogosphere and twitter began wondering when the company would launch an official Windows app for the rest of net population.
While Twitter’s embrace of Mac makes sense (if not to absorb the Tweetie for Mac fan base), it might be wise for the company to forgo a Windows app for the following 3 reasons.
There’s No App Store For That
Unlike Windows Phone 7 which provides users with an app store to download programs from, Microsoft Windows currently lacks a centralized place to install programs upon their PC.
Even if Twitter decided to create a program for Windows users (hopefully upon one OS platform), they may find little adoption outside of the geek-o-sphere as most users may simply use the website instead (as it would be easier to find).
More Developer Angst
After Tweetie was purchased for an undisclosed sum of money, many developers became nervous about creating businesses dependent upon Twitter for survival.
While some companies like HootSuite changed strategies by incorporating other social networks, others chose to shut down completely out of fear of competing with the official app.
Avoiding Windows (all versions) would give Twitter an opportunity to see how developers recreate the micro blogging site’s layout, which Twitter could use to feed back into the user interface of Twitter.com.
Twitter.com Is Enough
Despite the prevalence of mobile and desktop apps, Twitter’s official site is still one of the most popular way to interact with the twitterverse (at least for new comers to the service).
Instead of creating an official app, then troubleshooting bugs upon each OS (XP, Vista and Windows 7), Twitter could instead focus on improving the experience across multiple browsers.
Keeping it simple “browser side” would allow them to focus more on improving the service, as well as make it easier for the company to conduct mass beta tests to discover which features users love as well as loathe.
Yeah, But Isn’t Twitter App For Windows Inevitable?
Will Twitter launch a Windows App? The answer probably has more to do with whether when (not if) Microsoft launches an app store to the masses.
If so then I would not be surprised to see Twitter launch an official app in order to make it easier for Windows users to easily discover Twitter without encountering a poorly designed third party app.
However unless Twitter wants to support an app that may not gain the praise of the masses, they may want to hold off embracing Windows (at least for now).
Darnell Clayton is a geek who discovered blogging long before he heard of the word "blog" (he called them "web journals" then). When he is not tweeting, friendfeeding, or blogging about space, he enjoys running, reading and describing himself in third person.