In what seems to be a massive blow to third-party Twitter clients developers, Twitter today announced that it has acquired the iPhone app Tweetie from developer Loren Brichter, which will be rebranded as Twitter for iPhone/iPad and listed for free on the App Store.
Brichter, a previous Apple employee, began work on his Twitter client a couple of years back, which since then has seen a massive growth in popularity. A vast majority of people who use Twitter on the iPhone recommend the app, which obviously lead to Twitter itself becoming interested, as so far, the only official way to post to Twitter from a phone is via a mobile web page or texting. This is huge news for the Twitter world, as until now, third-party developers had to face off against each other to gain sales; now, with an official app for free, they will almost certainly see a huge drop in interest.
The aforementioned third-party Twitter client developers are obviously not entirely impressed with the news, and a lot of Twitter users are expressing their concerns also. Whilst it'll be good for the growth of Twitter, having a well-developed and free application for the iPhone and iPad, it leads one to wonder about the status of Tweetie 2 for OS X, an application promised to be released as a beta this month. In addition to that, there's also a chance that, since the application is free, Twitter might decide to integrate Apple's new iAd platform into the software as a way to gain some extra revenue. The only way to find out is to wait, though one thing's for sure: it's a sad day for Twitter client developers.