Twitter Buys Tweetie iPhone Client

The Web has been all abuzz over the last few days about the fact that Twitter has officially purchased the Tweetie iPhone Twitter client from its creator. This acquisition brings to mind a few questions:

  1. How is a group/company with no obvious source of income (other than investors) purchasing a commercial venture, and, how are they able to make it free (are they going to introduce advertisements)?
  2. What does this mean for other Twitter clients that are being developed for the iPhone? Will Twitbird, Tweetdeck and Echofon (formerly TwitterFon) fall off the face of the planet now that an official Twitter client has been chosen? Granted, Tweetdeck and Echofon are both diversified enough that losing the iPhone market will most likely not break them, but it still does not bode well; nor does it bode well for the spirit of competition and race to features currently found in the App Store.
  3. What does this mean for customers that already purchased the Tweetie iPhone client at full price? If advertisements are injected into the free version offered by Twitter, will paid customers have the option to opt out of those? Will there be any compensation or incentives for those that paid for the app?

What are your thoughts? What does this mean for the future of Twitter clients on the iPhone? Will the other clients go the way of non-bit.ly URL shortening services?