Say Hello to Tweetbot…

Well, sort of. You know that app we’ve been working on for the last 2.5 months? Yes, it was a Twitter client. You’re probably thinking, “Another Twitter client?” Yes, but not any old Twitter client. A damn good one. We truly felt we could make a client that was just as good if not better than the other ones. At least that was the plan. However, there was big news this past week that has put a slight hold on development.

Why the Cat’s out of the Bag.

If you keep up with any tech news, you probably heard the announcement that Twitter is acquiring Tweetie and the developer, Loren Brichter, is going to continue working on the app for them. They will change the name to Twitter for iPhone and make it free. This is really great news overall and congrats to Twitter and Loren. An official client is something Twitter always needed.

But this news changes things for us. We probably won’t be able to charge for the app anymore. Who’s going to pay for a Twitter client when “Tweetie” is free? We are a very small team and can make things work. We put 2.5 months of hard work into this app and feel really good about where it’s going. The last thing we want to do is just give up, but we need questions answered before we can continue moving forward.

Concerns with Moving Forward.

Our biggest setback is not knowing what Twitter’s plans are for their new app and how it relates to 3rd party clients.

  1. Will the official Twitter client gain access to private APIs that others can’t access?
  2. Will it get a higher query limit?
  3. Will it be the only client to have true push notification?
  4. Will they eventually kill all 3rd party iPhone/iPad clients to prevent confusion between their app and all the rest?

What are their intentions? If it’s just to provide an official free client for users, that’s great. But we need to know if they’ll continue to welcome and encourage 3rd party clients to keep going. They also need to give us a fair chance to succeed by not giving their official client an unfair advantage when it comes to accessing the API. There are so many unanswered questions right now. We are aware of their dev conference this week, Chirp. We aren’t attending, but hopefully good news will come from this event.

I have to say, even though the Twitter news sounds bad for 3rd party client developers, it made me more excited about finishing our app. We just need some assurance from Twitter that their intentions with this acquisition are good and they will continue to welcome and support the 3rd party clients.

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, we are really curious as to what your thoughts are on this situation. Let us know in the comments!