3/14/11

TweetDeck Users, Third Party Apps: Did a Twitter War Start Today?

I spend lots of time counseling fellow lawyers on how to effectively and efficiently use Twitter - both for personal use and for professional business development.  Once they get going, they usually decide to flip from going directly to their Twitter page (http://www.twitter.com/)  to tweet, opting instead for more user-friendly sites that are not owned by Twitter ("third party apps"). 

The most popular of these is TweetDeck (at least, that's what I'm hearing). TweetDeck is cool.  TweetDeck also lets you do other things besides tweet -- you can connect with LinkedIn and Facebook from TweetDeck, too.  Handy for lots of folk.

However, there is news for all you TweetDeck lovers.  Appears that TweetDeck has been purchased by UberMedia, and Twitter isn't happy with UberMedia.

Twitter Has Thrown Down the Gauntlet Regarding Third Party Applications

Why?  For one thing, Twitter may not like the latest feature offered by TweetDeck: Deck.ly, which lets you post longer tweets.  Deck.ly gets you around that 140 character limit.  Which, some may argue takes away the very raison d'etre of tweeting - but hey.  It's here. 

You can all the details on today's post by Neal Wiser, "The End of the 140 Character Tweet and Its Repercussions.

Other applications that may be impacted by Twitter's new warning include:  
  1. HootSuite
  2. Klout
  3. Seesmic
  4. SocialFlow
For more information on Twitter's relationship with third party apps, because it's not just TweetDeck we're talking about here, check out these recent articles too:

  1. Wired Magazine,  "Twitter Clamps Down On Third-Party Clients," by Mark Brown.
  2. PC Magazine, Twitter to Devs: No New Third-Party Apps," by Leslie Horn.
  3. PC World, "Twitter to Third Party Clients: Drop Dead," by Harry McCracken, Technologizer.

What's Going On Here?

Personally, one big hitch for me in tweeting from my Twitter home page is its inability to allow me to easily shorten urls.  Time waster that Twitter should have solved long ago.  Maybe I wouldn't mind tweeting from Twitter itself if they made it as easy for me as other developers have done with their free apps. 

Apparently, Twitter is waking up to the competition doing a better job, sniffs some money to be made, and is trying to grab those profits.  Fine, let them duke it out. 

I'm not loyal to any third party app.  I will go with whomever provides me the best service -- which translates into FREE and FAST.  I'm not going to dedicate much time from my day to tweeting, and neither are my clients. 

Bottom line, compete.  Go for it.  However, Twitter better not mess with blocking what's already working for us. 
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