Twitter Developers – Saved or Screwed?

The conference portion of the Chirp twitter developer conference happened yesterday, and among the major announcements was that twitter are essentially developing their own versions of popular applications such as Seesmic and Tweetdeck. Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) called it a few weeks ago in an article that described many of the popular twitter applications that exist as simply ‘filling in holes’ in twitter’s service. Now Twitter are actively planning on filling in these holes themselves.

It’s inexpensive market research to open your API for free to developers, see what applications people want to use and then either buy the apps or build them yourself. It’s a good outcome if you get bought such as the twitter iphone app Tweetie, but perhaps not so great if you’re one of the other hundred applications that will instead be replaced by a version created internally by twitter. There are two prevailing opinions:

From Loic Lemeur (@loic), creator of Seesmic on the “Everything’s going to be fine” side of the fence:

The “You’re all screwed” counterpoint by @1938media’s Loren Feldman, amusingly tagged as “Delusional”:

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