Who knows what Twitter’s objective is. I’m not entirely sure Twitter knows. But I certainly don’t see this as the death knell of third party Twitter apps.
For one, choice is good. For everyone. Unless Twitter locks out third party developers, which simply will not happen, just because Twitter owns a desktop and/or mobile app doesn’t mean third party apps can’t thrive. Hell, Twitter owns Twitter already, and the whole reason we need third party apps is because the native Twitter platform- and the unenhanced experience- is so lacking.
In other words, there are enough holes in the Twitter experience to keep third party pluggers busy for a long time.
I have Tweetie on my iPhone. I used to use it, and thought it was a well made app. But lately I create most of my Twitter content in third party apps (WordPress, Live Writer, Posterous, Foursquare, etc.) and push content from there to Twitter. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever go back to creating whatever content I publish to Twitter on a dedicated Twitter web page or app.
Not to mention the very relevant fact that the Tweetie desktop app is Mac only.
As far as reading Twitter goes, well where to start? First of all, I don’t think there are that many people who do it. What I mean by that is that tons of people cast their content onto Twitter, but other than hardcore geeks and people with skin in the game I don’t think anybody really consumes their online content at Twitter (not in the least because most information tossed into Twitter is in the form of links to content elsewhere). I think Twitter is one giant California with millions of prospectors setting up camp there in hopes of finding gold. If there is no gold, or when the gold is all taken, most of the herd will move on to the next land rush.
I’d really like to know the percentage of people who regularly read Twitter who do not regularly post to Twitter. I bet it’s a relatively small number.
To the extent that people do read Twitter, a third party app is a necessity. Multiple columns, better list handling, the list goes on and on. Again, choice is good for everyone. If Twitter is the big honking deal the Twitterati is trying to convince us it is, how in the world can you say there isn’t room for a multitude of apps and options?
Do we all drive Fords?
Seesmic Web is infinitely better than the native Twitter web site
Furthermore, many people- myself very much included- prefer web based apps. If this is the year of the cloud, why would I download a desktop app to read Twitter? This is the main reason why I prefer Seesmic. The other being an elegant, but not overdone, feature set. Very Apple like, in a good, non-evil, way.
So I’m not ready to morn Seesmic or any Twitter-dependant app. I think they’ll do fine.
At least until the gold runs out.