Since its inception Twitter (the company) ran its website at www.twitter.com and left Twitter applications for desktop and mobile clients to third party developers. On Friday Twitter announced a significant change in its overall game plan. Twitter is no longer taking a backseat to developers when it comes to running Twitter in applications outside the main Twitter website. Twitter has aquired Atebits, the company behind one of the most popular Twitter clients for Mac desktops and iPhones, Tweetie. Loren Brichter, the man behind Atebits, is part of the deal and will become a vital member of Twitter, helping the company retool the app for the iPhone, other mobile devices, and eventually the iPad. Twitter’s reasoning behind the move: “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.” Tweetie will be renamed Twitter for iPhone and its price tag will fall from $2.99 to free. A release date was not disclosed.
So what do we think about this? It’s great! Now there’s going to be an “official” Twitter app that all iPhone (and other mobile device) users can download and share similar experiences with. If you’re new to Twitter, this will likely be the go-to app. If you’ve been part of the community for some time, third party Twitter apps aren’t going anywhere, so dipping your toe into different user experiences will always be an option. What this merger of sorts does is give Twitter a major boost against naysayers who believe Twitter is a fragmented service with too many varying apps for it. Now the company can say there’s a streamlined Twitter experience waiting for those who want to take that route. It’s a win-win for all of us.