Twitter 'could build its own client'
Published 08/04/2010 | 14:52
One of the biggest investors in microblogging service Twitter has hinted that the company might release its own mobile and desktop clients, a move that could impact third-party developers.
Fred Wilson, a major investor in Twitter, wrote a blog post that made reference to the demise of General Computer, a company that made hard drives for Apple computers, but which "faded away" when Apple started building hard drives in to its computers.
He said that many developers building third-party clients for Twitter risked falling in to the same trap.
"Much of the early work on the Twitter platform has been filling holes in the Twitter product," he wrote.
"It is the kind of work General Computer was doing...Some of the most popular third-party services on Twitter are like that. Mobile clients come to mind."
"Photo-sharing services come to mind. URL shorteners come to mind. Search comes to mind. Twitter really should have had all that when it launched, or it should have built those services right in to the Twitter experience."
He said that developers should shift their focus away from building services such as mobile clients and address shorteners, and should instead concentrate on social gaming, enterprise, discovery and analytics.
"That's what I'd like to challenge entrepreneurs and developers out there to focus on," he wrote.
"I think the time for filling the holes in the Twitter service has come and gone. It was a great period for Twitter and its third-party developers. I believe we are entering a new phase now.
"[Twitter] is a large company now with the resources to service the ecosystem in ways it never could before...it's time for Twitter and its developer ecosystem to work together to create entirely new things that will shape the internet in the coming years. I'm excited to see it happen."
Wilson has not expanded on the points made in his blog, and has refused to comment on whether Twitter will be introducing its own desktop clients, plugins and services that until now have traditionally been provided by third parties.
But a source close to one third-party developer told Business Insider that Twitter would almost certainly launch some of its own rival products.
"Twitter is going to do mobile apps and URLs," the source said. "Bit.ly, TwitPic and Tweetie are now considered 'core' to the platform. They will either be bought or competed with."
Twitter was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.