What does the application do? Aside from being a normal Twitter client, it is designed to provide a Twitter experience for non-Twitter users, opening up Twitter to a whole host of new potential users. Of course, it shares quite a bit with the venerable Tweetie (nearly a 100% port), but has been changed to help new people discover, and then join Twitter.
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The first thing you see when you load Twitter for the first time is a big ‘Sign Up’ button in the middle of your device. Hardly subtle. While logged out (or not signed up) you can browse top trends, read top tweets (similar to Twitter.com), and find tweets that are near to you geographically. You can do everything but follow people and post updates.
Of course, it is designed to draw you into the conversation, meaning that you must create an account, or sign in to your current one.
The best parts of Tweetie (pull down to refresh) have been combined with a new front-end layer that helps new users get acquainted with Twitter. If you recall, that was the original goal that Twitter had in developing its own its own applications: to remove the confusion the people had attempting to play with Twitter on their mobile devices, and to help people get started.
Tweetdeck is hardly the best way to get into Twitter. Will the new official Twitter application in the iTunes app store help grow the company? It will in a small way, but its real use will be to provide a top-tier experience to the already casual Twitter user that wants to tweet on the go. Tweetie was always the best Twitter application, and now with the price tag of free it is also the cheapest.
Whether this will spur innovation in the cottage industry of iPhone Twitter applications remains to be seen, Twitter might have just sunk the whole fleet with this release. What do you think, is this a good or bad move by Twitter?