Twitter Buys Tweetie for the iPhone

Loren Brichter, developer of the popular Tweetie for the iPhone, announced that he sold the app to Twitter. As part of the deal, Mr. Brichter will become part of Twitter’s mobile applications team, and will develop a version of Tweetie for the iPad.

“Careful analysis of the Twitter user experience in the iTunes AppStore revealed massive room for improvement,” Twitter CEO Evan Williams said on the company’s blog. “People are looking for an app from Twitter, and they’re not finding one,” so Twitter chose to team up with Mr. Brichter to offer a Twitter-branded client app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Twitter plans to rename Tweetie as Twitter for iPhone in the coming weeks, and to offer the app for free instead of US$2.99.

What’s in store for the Mac OS X version of Tweetie, however, is currently unknown. Both Twitter and Mr. Brichter have specifically mentioned the iPhone version of Tweetie in their announcements, but any mention of the Mac version has been conspicuously absent.

A grass roots movement sprang up on Twitter late Friday night supporting the idea of handing off the Mac version of Twitter to Red Sweater Software’s Daniel Jalkut. “If Twitter doesn’t have plans for Tweetie for Mac, tell them to let me take it over. I’m a good app-daddy,” Mr. Jalkut said on Twitter.

He later added “I’ve been using Tweetie for over a year. I know exactly what needs to be fixed. I’m your champion. Vote Pedro, I mean, me, for Tweetie-guy.”

There’s no word yet on when the iPad version of Tweetie, or Twitter for iPhone, will be available, or what the future holds for the Mac OS X version of Tweetie.