New Twitter features borrow from 3rd party clients

Twitter takes features out of clients and rolls them into the API. The client devs incorporate new Twitter features and then extend them.

Have you been following all the recent talk about Twitter's new features? Last Friday I talked about Twitter Lists (and I'll have a bit more to say about those in a minute) but since then Twitter has announced Tweet Notifications, officially sanctioned Retweets and some kind of system to try to combat the gaming of Trends.

Everyone should have Lists by now, but notifications and retweets are in limited roll-out (my account has neither) and tweaking Trends is a server side thing that we won't notice beyond (hopefully) getting more 'honest' Trends.

What fascinates me about the new interface changes is that they got their start on 3rd party Twitter clients. I find it very interesting that the Twitter dev team (apparently) watches the various third-party clients to see what neat features they have, then they roll the best ideas into the Twitter API (often with some improvements, since they have full control over how Twitter works). Once that happens, the third-party developers have to update their clients to take advantage of the new abilities in the API. Then the process starts all over again. It's a curious system but it seems to work.

So getting back to Lists. When I wrote about them last week, no clients could take advantage of them. That's changed. Seesmic Desktop now supports lists (in both its desktop and web clients) and the rather nifty Brizzly web client not only supports Lists, but it will convert any Brizzly Groups you've created into private Twitter Lists.

Brizzly is currently my favorite web client for Twitter, and it is in invite-only beta at the moment; if you want to try it I have 10 invites to give out. Click this link to see if you're one of the lucky few to get in.

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