What Twitter's Acquisition of Tweetie Means

Tweetie now becomes Twitter for iPhoneYesterday, Twitter announced some pretty big news that I'm not sure got the attention that it deserved -- they bought the popular iPhone/Mac client Tweetie.

For iPhone users and Mac heads, Tweetie is a popular applications because of its ease of use and Mac-like user interface. The company also announced that they brought on Tweetie's founder and added him to the mobile roster. Conversely, they renamed the application Tweetie for iPhone, with Tweetie for iPad coming sometime later this year.

So, what does this mean for Twitter really?

Well, first of all, they finally have their own application, which was one of the holes in the server. Prior to that, users had to rely on third party mobile and desktop apps or use the browser or mobile browser version. There is, of course, the ability to interact with the service via text messaging, which goes back to the reason why the service is based on 140 characters. However, my sense is that SMS is a rarely used part of the service, mostly because Twitter users tend to be early adopters, those with smart phones or generally knowledgeable about using the service via the browser.

What does this mean for other third party apps like Tweetdeck, Tweetworks, Seesmic, etc.?

In my opinion, this acquisition has to send a warning shot across the bow of all Twitter, third party developers. Twitter is obviously making a massive step towards mobility and desktop applications. The company can learn from the successes and the failures of each third party developer and look to infuse some of those key learnings into their offering.

Question is, however, will Twitter keep Tweetie simple and efficient (one of the reasons why I like it). Or, will they look to push the envelope and drive innovation within the mobile/desktop Twitter universe?

How do you think this will play out?