Twitter Launches iPad App With Focus on Consumption

Twitter launched the first native app it’s built from scratch Wednesday night: Twitter for iPad. Aimed at fostering content consumption, the app is designed for new users and power users alike.

In an interview at Twitter headquarters Wednesday, Leland Rechis, Twitter’s mobile product manager, said the iPad app indicates the direction all Twitter-designed apps will be heading. “It’s not about timelines; it’s about consuming information and encouraging exploration.” The iPad app, he added, “is a great place for us to show how important the content is in the tweets.”

Rechis created the app with Loren Brichter, who joined Twitter when it controversially purchased his iPhone Twitter app, Tweetie (which is now Twitter for iPhone, and is actually the same app as the one released tonight, but with different features expressed in the iPad environment).

Twitter for iPad makes use of the device’s touch interface and big-screen real estate by letting users see multiple cascading panels of information. So, for instance, you might click on a person’s twitter handle, open a panel of information about them, then click on one of their tweets, and open another panel that shows the full text of a linked article from the tweet. If users are new or not signed in, the first panel is a┬álist of recommended users they can scroll through. There are also nice multitouch features, like pinching to see a user’s profile and swiping to see the rest of a thread of a conversation.

At launch, web pages are the only content format fully supported, but Rechis said to expect support for other inline media, such as videos. He said Twitter’s mobile group is highly focused on the goal of connecting the Twitter experience to the real world in whatever ways it can. That could be something like location, but it could also be connected to helping a phone or iPad user who’s fiddling with the device on her sofa while watching television.

Twitter for iPad is free; it’s available in all regions; and it should be live tonight. At this point (like other Twitter apps), it doesn’t contain Twitter’s version of advertising (Promoted Tweets).

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