Tweetie to become official Twitter or iPhone

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Hot off the presses from the official Twitter blog, we learn they're buying Atebit's Tweetie, renaming it Twitter for iPhone, and making it free. Atebit's founder, Loren Brichter, will become a key member of their mobile team. What brought this on?

Careful analysis of the Twitter user experience in the iTunes AppStore revealed massive room for improvement. People are looking for an app from Twitter, and they're not finding one. So, they get confused and give up. It's important that we optimize for user benefit and create an awesome experience.

Twitter also states they will eventually launch Tweetie for iPad with Brichter's help. The Atebits blog presents his thoughts on his journey so far and the future ahead.

Congratulations to all involved, we look forward to it.

[Thanks to our Jonathan for the tip!]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Tweetie to become official Twitter or iPhone

49 Comments

This will probably kill off many of the other Twitter apps available. Tweetie only got good by competing, so this may be a step backwards in the long run.

Given how bad the last Facebook update was (when previous were stellar), there's always a need for good competition to keep everyone sharp.

There's one Facebook app, one MySpace app, and one Linkedin app.
Goodbye, other Twitter apps. (cleanin' house, finally!) :lol:

Kudos to the devs! Tweetie gets great reviews. But will it finally get push notifications? That and the lack of a lite version has stopped me switching from Echofon. Which is a great twitter app I got to try before I bought.
I should point out that I use Tweetie on the mac. Its a great desktop client. But having never had opportunity to use Tweetie on iPhone without laying down some pounds, I wouldn't know about that.
And anybody who cant find Twitter on the iPhone... They ain't trying hard enough man, there's literally a hundred of them,

I still use Echofon.
Still gets updated and lets me retweet with comment.
I'll give it a shot of course, but Echofon has filled my Twitter needs

Interesting news. I am a recent Tweetie convert (no I don't expect a refund, but it would be a nice gesture :) ) and as far as the other twitter clients go Tweetie definitely has the smallest 'I wish it did this' list so I think twitter has made the right choice.

Great news! That's awesome to hear folks are making good dough (at least I hope; lol) in the App Store and through acquisitions.
@Thedeadbaby
You're looking for Quote Tweet. ;-)

Well, can't wait, until then I'll keep using TwitBird. Thank goodness I didn't buy Tweetie xD

Finally, Twitter has a way to make money. Buy Tweetie, make it the 'Official Twitter App' for the iPhone and possibly desktop, and make money thru AdMob and iAd via the apps.

I use twitbit. I need push, a good UI, and a solid feature set. Used echofon for nearly 2 years but just switched to twitbit because echofon's push started to get really slow.

@Brian: Refund? Really? I don't get why cheap bastards always want refunds for apps because they get cheaper or go free. Throughout the history of money prices have always dropped and things have always happened to make things go free. It is an accepted fact. I don't bitch to best buy because the TV I once bought for $2000 is now $1200. I don't whine like a baby asking for an $800 refund because my friend got it $800 cheaper. I don't care what industry it is. You pay for product at a price that is specified at the time of purchase. If it changes the next day so what? That's why some people wait a while for everything hoping to get a cheaper price. So why are app store apps different? You won't get a refund. You don't deserve a refund. And giving everyone a refund is not the right thing to do. If it were that way prices would NEVER drop because they fear people like you will ask for money back. You are a moron.

I hope they don't add ads in order to make it free. I'll pay for Echofon without ads before I'll deal with ads on Tweetie. Hope they keep the app the same, because it really is the best one.

If you want a refund when something becomes cheaper or free, does that mean when you buy something on sale and the price later goes up, you send them more money?

This troubles me, if it's going to become free what about everybody who paid for the app?
I blindly paid up for the new version assuming that with a fresh wad of cash atebits might actually bother to update the client and fix bugs but so far we've had next to nothing, the persistance is still totally screwed and where's the dark theme everyone wants back? 6 months on it's still not back.
So maybe it will give a reason to update or more than likely it will change beyond all recognition and be full of adverts!

Echofon all the way. I've tried a TON of Twitter apps and this one just seems to work the best for me. I love it. I'll try Tweetie inside 4.0, but I'm sure I'll come back to my tried and true Echofon.

If this tweetie/Twitter for iPhone gets infected wit iAds in th next version...I will jump ship...I also fear it's gonna get dumbed down even more smh to appeal to the lowest common denominator

Loving Twitterific and used Tweetdeck for a bit (which I use on desktop), don't see myself switching.

Apple has shown no compunction to ban a bunch of apps they thought were "bad" all the sudden. Look at WIFI stumbler. If this becomes part of the OS doesn't that mean ALL other Twitter apps will be replicating functionality and hence a super no no by Apple's own jackboot rules? They may not do it but they ban swaths of apps for NO REASON at times. Think it over. They have shown willingness to be complete fascists in the past.
Don't just blindy assume they wouldn't do "such a silly thing"

Twitter has been making a lot of noise lately towards closing off some of their APIs and making "official" versions of tools, which I find a little sad. Making a Twitter client has become the new "Hello World" when you are learning the Internet connected features of a new language, and that may change. It also seems puzzling from Twitter's point of view, as the white-hot competition among clients has been the best R&D they never had to pay for.
As a Tweetie user, I am happy for Loren, but I also fear this could result in Frog's long-term scenario.

Good move although I use Twitterific premium. This is going to have three things to get me to consider switching:
1) Push notification
2) Lists
3) Multiple accounts

wow Rene and Christopher got way too angry about my post. I wasn't asking for money back, it was a general question as to if twitter had announced any such details. I don't care about a few bucks but I'm sure other people will. I pay for apps that are quality and don't mind it. perhaps you two should go assume somewhere else and not attack people via comment posts.

Ok so Tweetie gets bought out by Twitter. This won't clean house like other social network apps (myspace, Facebook,linkedin) becAause it's way too late in the game for that. The best apps on the iPhone go to echofon, tweetie 2 and the underdog which is by far the best on osfoora... But I still use echofon for the push. Echofon fails for no themes or full landscape mode which osfoora has

Hey Rene if you bought something that is ad free and then it changes into a program that has adds then you should get a refund. This is what everyone is forgetting. Tweetie 2 is add free and if it changes to Twitter and has adds then the people who bought Tweetie 2 have the right to complain.