Twitter has acquired Tweetie and it’s developer, Loren Brichter, will now be working for Twitter. Anyone who uses or develops Twitter clients should pay attention to how this plays out. Tweetie’s name will be changed to “Twitter for iPhone,” which means that when someone searches for “Twitter” in the App Store, Twitter’s own application will be the first one listed. This is good for users because it means that developers will have to step up their game to get new users and keep their existing ones.
But, this could be bad news for developers — why would someone use your client when they could use the official client? Especially since Twitter’s own client will be free. There’s a lot of questions left unanswered. Will Twitter for the iPhone get early access to new APIs? Will it be restricted to the same API limits imposed on other developers? Will it be the only client with true push notifications?
Until all of these questions are answered it’s hard to tell how this will play out. I’m optimistic, but I really hope that Twitter doesn’t screw up Tweetie like Brizzly did to Birdfeed.