Twitter is now facing the typical and critical issue of in-house vs external apps development for its platform as the micro-blogging site has now reached a certain level of maturity, research firm Ovum said, warning that "Twitter risks app developer revolt".
In a study by Eden Zoller and named Twitter grows up and gets serious, Ovum's principal analyst underlines Twitter's move into mobile/smartphone apps as the trigger for this situation, although the company's announcement at the Chirp developers conference last month that it intends to focus enhancing "core experience" already sparked widespread unease among developers.
Zoller calls for Twitter to "urgently provide developers with a clear roadmap of where its own in-house development efforts are heading in order to re-establish harmony."
"Twitter needs to be very careful not to alienate the developer community as they drive innovation for the service and also traffic. It should be remembered that applications account for 75% of all tweets," he noted.
Twitter has indeed developed its own BlackBerry app, accounting for 7-8% of new sign-ups, according to Ovum. It also is rebranding "Tweetie" as "Twitter for iPhone", bringing the tool into the fold and stating its "official" Twitter app status. On the list of future direct Twitter apps are an URL shortener as well as rich media apps.
However, Zoller toned down his stance as he called for developers to look for new innovation paths, namely "in verticals and other areas that they have not traditionally tapped into."
"This might appear harsh but there is logic behind the argument. The first Twitter applications are well established, and as the Twitter platform matures developers will need to be more creative." a case in point," he added.
So where to from here?