Twitter buys out maker of top mobile Tweeting app

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Looking back, it was pretty inevitable. Twitter has acquired an independent developer to take full rights of its third-party Twitter client, the one that was widely regarded as the best such app on the iPhone.

In an announcement late Friday, Twitter confirmed that it has acquired Atebits, the creator of Tweetie. With the acquisition, Tweetie will remain largely unchanged in terms of functionality but will be renamed "Twitter for iPhone" and the price will drop from $2.99 to $0.00.

The main reason for the acquisition is that Twitter recognized how confusing it has become to find a mobile outlet for accessing and updated Twitter accounts.

"People are looking for an app from Twitter, and they're not finding one. So, they get confused and give up," wrote Twitter CEO Evan Williams on the site's official blog. "It's important that we optimize for user benefit and create an awesome experience."

Tweetie, created by Atebits' sole employee Loren Brichter, was an Apple Design Award last year as one of the best iPhone apps. This move is one of the first steps in a new strategy by Twitter to standardize its mobile presence.

A reconfigured version of Tweetie (err...Twitter for iPhone) is under way now for the iPad, which Brichter is now part of. She now becomes an official part of the Twitter development team.