Two related news stories about Twitter on mobile platforms caught my eye this Saturday morning as I read the digital press with a nice cup of tea.
First, Loic Le Meur talking about why you should never have all your eggs in one basket if your business model is about developing software for use only with Twitter. Loic founded Seesmic which offers the means to manage Twitter on the desktop, on Windows specifically, on the web and on Blackberry and Android mobile platforms (but not iPhone, nor Windows Mobile).
What Loic talks about is the risk you run as an app developer if your model is dependent on only Twitter, and if Twitter themselves enter your space with an â€˜officialâ€™ app.
Which, secondly, is precisely whatâ€™s just happened:
- Yesterday, Twitter announced Twitter for Blackberry, an app theyâ€™ve developed working closely with RIM, the maker of the Blackberry.
- Also yesterday, Twitter announced the acquisition of Tweetie, arguably the best-selling Twitter app on the iPhone. They plan to rename Tweetie as Twitter for iPhone (and for iPad), and make it available for free: currently, it costs Â£1.79 in the UK App Store.
Thatâ€™s two of the major mobile platforms where Twitter will now offer apps themselves. Hereâ€™s what Twitter says why theyâ€™re doing this:
[â€¦] Careful analysis of the Twitter user experience in the iTunes AppStore revealed massive room for improvement. 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.
And thereâ€™s the challenge for third-party developers â€“ that â€˜awesome experience.â€™ You have to offer something that differentiates you from all the other apps out there thatâ€™s much more than letting you simply send and receive tweets, @s and DMs. There are more than 1,000 app choices in total that work with Twitter, mostly free.
TweetDeck, the leading Twitter app on the desktop, too, enables you to do more with things like managing multiple Twitter accounts as well as your Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn accounts. They were quick off the mark with a version designed for iPad. And TweetDeck also does white-label editions.
With mobile use of services like Twitter growing apace and gaining a lot of attention from the enterprise perspective, these moves by Twitter could be the start of a real shakeup in the marketplace ecosystem.
Opportunity knocks for developers. And for users looking for that awesome experience.