Category: developers journal

Twitter buys Tweetie, and makes it it’s official App

Author: Daemon April 11, 2010

Shazam, out of nowhere, Twitter bought Tweetie.

The need for Twitter to have an iPhone App named “Twitter” is more than obvious. New users, who do not fully understand Twitter and it’s ecosystem do not instinctively know that there are other applications that connect to Twitter. Hence, many people after not finding App named “Twitter” simply quit.

It was a long intention for Twitter to make official iPhone App. Not buy one!

But, alas, they bought Tweetie, App that many call the best Twitter client for iPhone. You could argue is it, or is it not the best, but no matter what is the conclusion, it is really really good.

Twitter bought it, and will put it back to Appstore as a free App.


One of the best Apps will become free and under direct control of Twitter. Yes. Exactly.

With this move, Twitter, in my super humble opinion kinda shot them selves in the foot. Jumped the shark. Why?

1: Unfair competition
Looking just from the level of development, Twitter does not need to use it’s API and all the limitations. Other clients have lots of API limitations, they cannot fully stream tweets, but instead need to pull them in batches. And many more limits that are set by the API. Twitter’s own App does not need to be hindered by any limitations.

2: Pricing
Tweetie / Twitter will now be free. Why would ANYONE buy another Twitter App (Twitterific comes to mind) when this one is free. By making the best Twitter client free and super-powerful, they basically screwed all the developers making Twitter Apps. Good bye Twitterific, it was nice to know you. Good bye Tweetdeck, see ya!

3: Killing community that created Twitter
Desktop and Mobile applications are the only reason Twitter exploded like crazy. Being able to connect to Twitter from anywhere is the key to Twitter’s success. And who made that possible? People who made applications. And why did they make applications? Because there was some money involved in that for them as well. Atebits, creators of Tweetie, were selling Tweetie at $2.99. Even after you remove Apple’s part, there is still a lot of cash earned there on that App. And now all the new App creators are simply discouraged to make new, diverse, Apps. With diversity being the key. Different people will find different Apps that fit them, that’s why diversity is good.

So basically, Twitter killed the community that made them popular.

And let’s get real for a moment now. If Twitter had volume of people even remotely close to Facebook’s, it would MAYBE be understandable. But Twitter at this moment has less accounts than Farmville on Facebook. Yes, one silly game on Facebook has more people farming digital vegetables than all Twitter accounts put together. And into that account count go even those funny accounts made by people just to screw with someone or have some fun (I got few funny accounts besides my main account).

It will be pretty cool to watch what will happen with Twitter in the next 6 months. I mean, Twitter will not cease to be, it will not vanish (even tho many would like that), but there will be bad backfire from this acquisition, I guarantee it.

By the way, you should follow me on Twitter @gpeuc


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