/// Twitter’s Mobile App Update Carries More Third-Party Warning Signs

July 10, 2012  |  All Things Digital


Twitter launched an update to its mobile apps on Tuesday, introducing a host of new, minor features for iOS and Android smartphones. No surprise here, as 9to5Mac broke the story after screen shots of the app update appeared in a developer preview of iOS 6. Many of the new additions are merely brought over from the Web version of Twitter, including expanded tweets — which preview content from partner publishers inside of tweets — and there’s enhanced performance and overall polish to the app as well. Most interesting in the update, however, is one feature that stands out within the app: You’re able to turn on push notifications for when specific users tweet, a feature that was previously available only via SMS. Why so interesting? Because it’s an added bonus feature found in Tweetbot, the much-loved third-party Twitter client. It is a small detail, yes. But it’s yet another signal that Twitter is taking charge of its official applications, incorporating features that many have sought in outside clients that emulate the Twitter stream. This is just the type of feature that the company doesn’t want to see proliferating through the use of its open APIs, as Twitter product manager Michael Sippey made abundantly clear in a recent, controversial blog post . In essence, if you’re a developer aping Twitter’s stream without adding significant value, you may be in trouble. (Tweetbot, sadly, hasn’t responded to my recent requests for comment.) The problem at this point is that Twitter hasn’t made defined what constitutes significant value. The most common complaint among developers has been Twitter’s lack of transparency here, foreshadowing major changes without making it clear exactly who will be affected. Twitter fired the first shot in nixing its LinkedIn partnership , which shared users’ tweets within the LinkedIn activity stream. It’s possible companies that offer similar services to users — such as Flipboard — could be next

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Twitter’s Mobile App Update Carries More Third-Party Warning Signs


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