At one point, a long, long time ago, Twitter was just a super simple website with some SMS integration. Then it became a slightly more robust website. Then it became an iPhone app. Then an Android app. Then an iPad app. Then a very robust website. BlackBerry, Windows Phone, etc. Now, as of today, there’s an official Mac desktop client, Twitter for Mac. Just about all of the bases now seem to be covered — except one: Windows.
Following the Twitter for Mac launch this morning, I asked the company if they had plans to do a Windows-based desktop version next. “For now, we only have the Mac version. We don’t have plans for a PC version — though we never say never,” a Twitter representative told me. In other words, eventually, yes there probably will be one.
As Twitter notes in their blog post today, “We acquired atebits with a focus on launching our own Twitter iPhone application. Since then, we’ve been asked repeatedly for a new version of Tweetie for Mac. We decided that the new version fits well into our goal of ensuring that mainstream users will have the best possible experience on popular platforms.” If OS X is a popular platform, then what’s Windows? An super ultra mega popular platform? And while those users have options for a native experience, many run on AIR, which is quite frankly, a pretty awful experience.
So again, I suspect we may see Twitter move to make a Windows client at some point. And that will be especially true if Microsoft is able to better unify the Windows experience, as they were suggesting yesterday at CES.
Of course, Twitter also had a huge head start on making Twitter for Mac. When they acquired Tweetie and its developer Loren Brichter last year, he was already hard at work on Tweetie 2 for Mac — the software that became Twitter for Mac. As the blog post notes, “Twitter for Mac is a new version updated by Loren and team during Twitter’s first Hack Week in October.” A Windows client would obviously take quite a bit more work to build from scratch. But I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else was working on one during the same Hack Week event.
The larger question may be what this means for the overall Twitter ecosystem? The trend is that third-party devs work on something then Twitter comes along with their own version — one that is usually better. So will Twitter for Mac (and maybe eventually Windows) destroy the other desktop clients? That seems unlikely since the desktop experience, even more so than the mobile one, varies greatly. Erick doesn’t like Twitter for Mac because he’s a TweetDeck users, a desktop client that’s totally different. I hate AIR, so I love Twitter for Mac so far.
Further, while all these clients are interesting and unique in their own way, I’m sure Twitter’s main focus remains on the core product: the website. If anything kills off these native clients, it may eventually be that.