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Tweetie Morphs Into 'Twitter For iPhone' For 3rd Twitter Client Acquisition

So many apps. So little time. With 100 million dollars of funding burning a hole in the Twitter Troika's collective pockets, Ev Williams, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey have been aggressively surveying Twitterville's landscapes for new purchases. It was determined a while back that a company grows by having 3rd party developers do the heavy-lifting.  And then once the product is perfected, companies like Twitter swoop on in for the acquisition. Such is the case with Tweetie.

Twitter's Chirp Developers' Conference -2010Twitter's Chirp Developers' Conference -2010In advance of the Twitter's Chirp Developer Conference in San Francisco, April 14-15, I'm sure this latest acquisition will be sending out a strong message to all 3rd party developers who want their chance at grabbing for the proverbial 'brass ring' off the Twitter carousel.

Unfortunately the select developers chosen have been few and far between. To date, Twitter has purchased Summize (for search) and Mixer Labs (for geo-location-base services). Tweetie will only be its third acquisition. But perhaps that situation will change as a result of Chirp conferernce when over 600-800 developers descend on the Herbst Pavilion in Frisco.

Loren BrichterLoren BrichterSo how did Tweetie catch the Troika's attention? Well, apparently... Atebits, the parent company founded by Loren Brichter developed the most popular mobile Twitter client by winning the Apple Design Award last year. Previously sold at $2.99, Twitter will offer it for free and rename it 'Twitter for iPhone," in addition, Twitter will be rolling out a Mac computer version that will feature  advertising in the future. According to a New York Times report, the acquisition price was not disclosed.

So what apps make the final cut? Ev Williams addressed this growing concern recently to the multitude of engineersEv WilliamsEv Williams and developers who think the odds may be stacked against them.

“There’s some misunderstanding around platforms,” said Mr. Williams, Twitter’s co-founder and chief executive, in a recent interview after the Tweetie acquision. “I’ve been trying to figure out how to talk to developers about this.”

The tension is natural, he said. “There are tons of opportunities created by the Twitter platform, and things that people will probably be disappointed if they invest in,” he said. “It’s a question of what should be left up to the ecosystem and what should be created on the platform.”

Twitter TroikaTwitter TroikaIn the final analysis, it's the age old story, of the 'cream rising to the top.' Only the best of the best will scale the hallowed halls of Twitterville. Other will have to be content to either sell as an external partner or build the kind of value that will catch the attention of not only the Twitter Troika, but the collective zeitgeist of the Twitterverse. Now ain't that tweet!

 

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Ron Callari
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