You couldn’t say the warning signs weren’t there. But I doubt anyone would have guessed that the end would come so abruptly.
Twitter did it today: they killed my app.
It’s kind of a joke among developers to say that you’re working on a Twitter client. Let’s face it, there’s no shortage, right? Well now there’s probably gonna be. Go read the article for the details, but the nut is this: Twitter really only wants you using their apps to access the service. If you want to develop on their platform, it better be in a way that doesn’t interest them.
I wish them luck with that approach. But right now, it’s just put a bullet in the head of a project I’ve been working on for the past couple months. And since it’s dead now, there’s no harm in talking about it. I give you TweetStrip:
Click to see the full-sized image.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time discussing this. You can see that it’s radically different than the Tweeties, Echofons, Twitterifics and Hibaris of the world. I was so sick of that vertical list of tweets that I wanted to make something different. Something that took advantage of all those widescreen displays out there.
It’s almost entirely keyboard-driven. Use the arrows to move along the strip. But go up to reveal a minimized tweet strip, or down to pull out a larger detail on the currently-selected tweet.
I know I don’t have a chance to break the world with an app like this. It hasn’t been refined yet in the caring hands of a top-flight designer. But I felt that this app would have found a loving home on many a Mac desktop.
I guess that’s the point of this post. What Twitter has done today is ended the conversation on how Twitter should be used. As if we’ve all been coming up with new ideas, and mid-way through the debate, Daddy walked in, slammed down his whiskey glass, and bellowed “enough!”
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of kids we turn out to be. The kind that obediently scurry back to our rooms and play nice. Or the kind that get devious, and turn to other alternatives.
But for my part, I’m going to archive TweetStrip, and start working on something else. And my love of Twitter, once unblemished, now takes on a hint of resentment.