The Next Web on Twitter’s plans to de-emphasize twitter clients:
This move makes tweets client-agnostic to the reader. For someone viewing Twitter, which a lot of people do exclusively, it looks like a cohesive whole, not a set of posts coming from disparate clients. This is part of the company’s move to make it feel more homogenous and to emphasize its first-party clients.
For a lot of Twitter’s most hardcore users, the service wouldn’t be useable without the incredible third-party apps that have come out over the years. Twitterrific, Echofon, Tweetbot – the list goes on and on. So it’s understandable when these power users freak out over the seemingly inevitable demise of these apps, if and when Twitter decides to lock them out in favour of its own solutions.
Twitter isn’t a charity, and has every right to make money providing the service. Unlike Facebook, the company hasn’t had many privacy snafus, and has in fact protected users from government and law enforcement trying to gain access to account information without proper warrants and court orders. They deserve a lot of credit for that. It’s funny, when you want to access Facebook, you pretty much have only one choice, facebook.com or Facebook’s own apps. But when Twitter decides it should have some of that same kind of control – people are up in arms. While it is true that a lot of what makes Twitter great came from users and developers – not Twitter itself – that doesn’t mean that the company has to renounce making money on its world-changing service.
Here’s the real problem for most users: Twitter’s own apps aren’t very good. The iPad and Mac apps have seemingly been abandoned since the key architect of them left the company, and the iPhone app is missing many of the features I want in a Twitter client. Same for the Android versions. The website has gotten better over time, but still has only the very most basic of functionality.
Twitter only owes us one thing: a flexible and robust service to communicate with the world. If they can’t accomplish that with their own website and apps, they need to let developers continue to do the terrific work they do every day.