Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

TweetDeck Acquisition

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Ah, yes, another blog post about TweetDeck.

As of yesterday, Twitter’s rumored to go through with a $40-50 million acquisition of TweetDeck.

While this makes sense considering Twitter’s position on having more control over their third-party ecosystem, it’ll be interesting to see how they’ll handle the extreme split in user experience between TweetDeck and Twitter for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. As an idealistic user, I hope they’ll split the two clients into “Twitter for Mac” and “Twitter Pro for Mac”, although it’ll still be pretty disjointed – Twitter for Mac is only for one platform, and TweetDeck runs on both Windows and OS X. Not to mention how Twitter’ll feel about the dependency of Adobe AIR.

The rumor‘s also been thrown around that Twitter made the acquisition simply to shut down TweetDeck. If that ended up going through, that’d show a complete disregard for users, not to mention all the brands that have TweetDeck firmly integrated into their marketing processes. And that’s a pretty hefty purchase for the sole purpose of exercising dictator-like control. Is strict control of the platform really worth upwards of $50M?

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t take a crack at developing the next big Twitter client right now.

TweetDeck iOS App

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

A couple days ago, TweetDeck dropped a completely revamped version of their iOS app.

Most of the interface elements make perfect sense, but take a little time getting used to. Pinching columns out for an overhead view works great, but it’s not intuitively obvious. It’d be great to see some kind of overlay when first signing in that shows an example of the gesture. It’s the same problem that plagues Twitter for Mac and Twitter for iPad. They have some awesome three-finger gestures that work brilliantly, but they’re tucked away far too deep.

The inverted scrollbar is a little strange at first; most apps use the center of the bar to indicate your position, but TweetDeck uses the bottom of the bar to show where you are. And when you scroll up, the bar shortens instead of moving. Again, once you get used to it, it’s a great experience. I love the way that column headers are represented when viewing, though – the shadow of the notification light when viewing unread tweets looks really slick.

Performance is also vastly improved – even on my iPhone 3G, scrolling is smooth, and the app locks into your swipe between columns much better. No one enjoys highlighting a tweet when you’re intending to switch columns.

Aside from a few quirks, this app is much more polished than the previous iteration. Hit up the download!

Twitter Made a Mistake

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

In a recent announcement and in an update to their terms of service, Twitter is now saying that they should be the sole developer of clients, justifying the decision with a claim that everyone should access Twitter with the same experience.

Say what?

I’ve been a huge fan and compulsive user of third-party access points for years. Different people have vastly different needs, and trying to enforce a “one size fits all” policy just won’t work. Now that these clients have huge loyalties and userbases, choosing this time to bring down the iron fist makes little to no sense. If the strategy from the beginning was to only offer one way to access the platform, fine. That makes sense. Users would adopt Twitter with that mentality, grow with that mentality, no problem. But don’t tease us with the sweet, sweet water of clients and then threaten to take them away. Granted, existing clients will likely remain, but I’m worried Twitter won’t hit its potential without new developers contributing to the ecosystem.

Because some of Twitter’s best features (retweets, hashtags, etc.) have come from crowdsourced adoption and development. It was only after third-party implementations that Twitter built these features into their site. Why stifle innovation by bringing things down to one point of access? Clients should be praised as a way to bring even more eyes onto Twitter, not condemned for “confusing users”.

There’s also a strange bit of irony in the sense that Twitter’s official iOS and OS X app originated from and was acquired from an individual developer.

Give me TweetDeck or give me death! Okay, maybe that was a slight stretch.