Much of the early work on the Twitter Platform has been filling holes in the Twitter product. It is the kind of work General Computer was doing in Cambridge in the early 80s. Some of the most popular third party services on Twitter are like that. Mobile clients come to mind. Photo sharing services come to mind. URL shorteners come to mind. Search comes to mind. Twitter really should have had all of that when it launched or it should have built those services right into the Twitter experience.
Bit.ly (as a URL shortener), TwitPic (as a photo uploader) and Tweetie (as an iPhone app) are now considered ‘core’ to the platform. They will either be bought or competed with.
- Given that Twitter announced their own URL shortener and will need one for any [cost-per-click advertising] business model, we should assume Twitter will have its own URL shortener concept.
- TwitPic could be bought or built. Probably easier to build, since there’s no magic there.
- Tweetie is a big favorite of the Twitter crew, they love Loren Brichter’s stripped down design and cool sensibility, and it can probably be bought at an affordable price. Ie., Bit.ly downgraded; TwitPic built, Tweetie bought.
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve entered into an agreement with Atebits (aka Loren Brichter) to acquire Tweetie, a leading iPhone Twitter client. Tweetie will be renamed Twitter for iPhone and made free (currently $2.99) in the iTunes AppStore in the coming weeks. Loren will become a key member of our mobile team that is already having huge impact with device makers and service providers around the world. Loren’s work won the 2009 Apple Design Award and we will eventually launch Twitter for iPad with his help.