A while back I was surfing the Twitter developers wiki and noticed 2 interesting images uploaded by Ryan Sarver, Twitter’s Platform Project Manager. One of the images looks like a very rough status message entry screen, with a toggle button for Twitter’s new geolocation feature. This same feature just launched in read-only mode on Seesmic’s new desktop app yesterday. The second image is what looks like a screenshot of an iPhone screen prompting the user to enable Geolocation, taking the user to their Geolocation settings to enable it on a user’s account.
Then, today, Robert Scoble pointed out that you could see the new Geolocation feature launched in Seesmic Desktop in action by viewing Ryan Sarver’s tweets in the Twitter client. This makes me wonder how Ryan is broadcasting his location. Does Twitter have an internal iPhone app they are using, or are these just proof of concept images for other developers to use in their own apps?
Twitter has long been criticized for the lack of a good native mobile client. They have also admitted in the past that a new version of at least the mobile web client is in the roadmap. Could they be taking this a step further and building an entire iPhone app out of it?
Based on current facts the natural assumption would be that this is just an internal app they are using to test out mobile features like geo-location. The roughness of the screenshots and focus on just geolocation that we know of thus far lends to that conclusion. However, it’s important for all developers to be prepared, and be aware that in any market sustained by just Twitter your greatest competitor could just be your supplier of information (a concept I learned in business school), Twitter itself. If you’re developing an iPhone or mobile app for Twitter this is indeed something you should always be prepared for.
Here are the screenshots – you tell me. Is Twitter building an internal iPhone app?