It has been a busy week for Twitter, not to mention a controversial one. First on Wednesday of last week Evan Williams, the chairman of Twitter announced that they had purchased Albeit the company that owns Tweetie. Tweetie is one of the most popular twitter clients on the Iphone. Then just a few days later, Twitter announced that they were going to start monetizing Twitter by introducing what they call promoted tweets. At first they will show up only if you are searching for a specific product . However, eventually they will become apart of the normal Twitter stream.
Evan Williams said they purchased Tweetie, because they wanted to alleviate user’s confusion, when the user looked for a twitter applications in the Itunes app store. While this maybe true I don’t believe it was the real reason they brought Tweetie. I suspect that the announcement that they are placing promotional tweets within the Twitter stream is the real reason they purchased Tweetie. Promotional tweets will not roll out to third application until later and the revenue will be shared. Which meant without the purchase of Tweetie, and other apps for Blackberry and Android, Twitter’s only guaranteed revenue flow would have been the Twitter web site. If you look at a typical user’s stream most of them are coming from third party applications and mobile devices. Twitter needed to have an official app for all the major mobile devices including the Iphone, Blackberry and Android to widen where their revenue pool. The interesting thing is will third party apps developers join forces with Twitter or go more toward paid ad free models and where does Apple fit into the equation. I don’t have the answers to the questions, but I pretty sure things are going to be interesting in the app development community for the next couple of months.