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Twitter, Tweetie & Atebits: the conspiracy theory

A few months ago, Atebits, the developers of the then-awesome Tweetie client for Twitter, did what seemed to be a strange thing.

The upgrade from v2.0 to v2.1 of the iPhone app removed the ability for a user to continue with ‘old-style’ retweeting (formatting a tweet with RT…followed by the original tweet).

In response, Atebits parroted a line from Twitter about how the world was changing and Twitter’s new-style retweeting function was far better.

A strange case of user wishes – to at least have the choice of styling their usage in the way they preferred – being overriden in favour of a corporate stance put out by an unconnected company.

Though I made a bit of noise about it at the time, as did a few others, nothing changed. I stuck with 2.0 for a while, then switched to Echofon. Which has got rather better than Tweetie in the meantime, in the way that products tend to leapfrog each other.

So. Is the news yesterday of Atebits’ acquisition by Twitter a vindication of a long-term strategy to crawl up Ev’s rear entrance, a reward for being a good parrot, or just plain luck? :)

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