©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
Did Twitter just cut off its entire face to spite its nose? On Friday, the company put up eviction notices for third-party apps that mimic tools and services that Twitter provides. But some of those apps are far superior to Twitter’s offerings. In a blog post with the headline “Delivering a consistent Twitter experience,” the company gave a stern warning to developers who build applications on the Twitter platform. “We’re building tools for publishers and investing more and more in our own apps to ensure that you have a great experience everywhere you experience Twitter,” wrote Michael Sippey, Twitter’s director of product. “No matter what device you’re using.”
There’s one slight problem: Twitter-built products are anything but consistent across different devices. Twitter’s mobile site, mobile apps, iPad app, desktop apps and Web site are so divergent that it looks as if they were built by several different companies. These inconsistencies go beyond design and user interface issues. Features that are the core to Twitter’s business are absent too.
“It seems that making money without owning the user-experience is hard and Twitter wants to be that go-to Web site and mobile app,” said Al Hilwa, an analyst at the research firm IDC. “The problem is they have let the cat out of the bag and many have written better interfaces.”