The Man With The Golden iPhone: Spymaster Going Mobile

tmwtggBy now you either are addicted to Spymaster, or absolutely can’t stand it. The viral Twitter-based game in which you do spy-like things such as “assassinate” your followers is a great time-waster. But it’s also drawn some criticism as being “spammy.” That isn’t stopping the team from pushing the game forward — first, by finally opening it up to everyone today, and second with an upcoming iPhone app.

The iPhone app, which we’ve obtained some mock-ups of, should be out “in the next few weeks,” co-founder Eston Bond tells us. Those familiar with the game should feel right at home based on these pictures. The “Strategy” and “Tactics” menu options along the bottom are just ways to better organize features, we’re told. The creators are also working fast to get a bunch of new features in the game. The iPhone version will be available for free.

The rapid growth of Spymaster on Twitter — it was a top trending topic for several days after it launched — has already spawned a series of similar viral games. As many have been quick to point out, this is similar to what happened early in the life of Facebook’s Platform as well. But Spymaster was able to do this based on an invite-only system (something which also caused some controversy), now with it open to the public and going mobile, we could be in for a second wave of Spymaster fury.

Just as with the aforementioned Facebook Platform, Twitter is going to sooner or later own up to the fact that it is now a platform and must take measures to allay concerns that viral applications will take over the network. Plenty of people have told me that they don’t want to see Spymaster messages in their tweet stream, but would rather not unfollow people who they still consider to be friends. If there was just a way to filter out those message — and yes, some third party Twitter apps have a way, but this needs to be built into Twitter eventually — then everyone can continue to go about their business.

I realize filters may slightly muck-up the “keep it simple” mentality, but Twitter is getting too big, we need it. Games like Spymaster that are fun for some but a burden for others shouldn’t suffer because Twitter has never been good at the whole “new feature” thing.