Twitter’s made another acquisition, and although this was a small move in some respects – just one man’s responsible for Tweetie – it’s had some significant effects, with an app called Twitter for iPhone coming into being and members of the developer community getting rather upset.
Let’s start at the beginning. Late Friday, Evan Williams announced that Twitter was buying Tweetie, an iPhone client, from Loren Brichter (and bringing Brichter aboard). Williams said that Tweetie would be renamed Twitter for iPhone and made free in the iTunes App Store, too.
The problem is that these changes, in combination with the release of the Twitter for BlackBerry app, made some third-party developers feel like they’re getting squeezed out by official apps. So Twitter’s backtracked a bit, pulling the "official" label off the BlackBerry client and swearing not to label any other clients in that manner.
Ryan Sarver, Twitter’s Director of Platform, also told the Twitter Development Talk group, "To be clear, we are going to work hard to improve our product, add new functionality, make acquisitions when it’s in the best interest of users and the whole ecosystem at large. Each one of those things has the potential to upset a company or developer that may have been building in that space . . . . My promise is that we will be consistent in always focusing on what’s best for the user and the ecosystem as a whole and we will be sincere and honest in our communication with you."
Chirp, the official Twitter developer conference that begins on Wednesday, may prove to be extremely interesting due to these incidents.