The folks who run Twitter are starting to lose their tolerance for third-party clients, according to Jolie O’Dell of Mashable.
She specifically mentions two of my favorites: TweetDeck, which may already have run afoul of the Gods of Twitter, and HootSuite, which Twitter apparently has no problems with, but which I find to be a bit more complex than it needs to be.
I would have no problem using Twitter’s official clients for my Mac and my iPhone if they included some of the basic functionality that third-party apps offer. To wit:
- The ability to post to multiple Twitter accounts. I use two — my own (@dankennedy_nu) and Northeastern’s School of Journalism’s (@NUjournalism). As best as I can tell, if I do it the official way, I have to log out of one account and then log into another. By contrast, on TweetDeck or HootSuite, I simply check which feed I wish to post to. I can even post to two simultaneously.
- Automatic link-shortening. If this is available on the official Twitter client, I can’t find it. Why would I want to copy a link, paste it into a link-shortening site like Bit.ly and then copy the result back into Twitter when I can just copy and paste it at TweetDeck or HootSuite and watch it automatically shrink? (HootSuite does require a trivial extra half-step.)
Twitter recently cracked down on ÜberTwitter, which was literally the only decent client for BlackBerry. Glad I’m not using a BlackBerry anymore. O’Dell writes:
Twitter has already adopted many of the ideas third-party devs brought into the system. For example, the impressive interface of the “New Twitter” felt more to us like a really great third-party app than anything else. And Twitter’s mobile apps, which were a boon to overall Twitter usage, were informed and inspired by existing third-party apps, too.
Well, fine. But Twitter is going to have to make a few more improvements before I’m willing to switch to its official apps. I hope Biz Stone, Evan Williams and company don’t force the issue and more than they already have.