Twitter: No Plans to Build Desktop Clients

In a Q&A conducted with users today from his personal Twitter account, CEO Evan Williams shared his company’s product roadmap details in the wake of the relaunch of Perhaps most interestingly, he said that Twitter does not plan to release official desktop clients, which had been a major concern for some third-party developers. Desktop Twitter client providers like TweetDeck and Seesmic are scurrying to establish their independence from Twitter; for instance, Seesmic just launched integrated support for 40 social web services. But their impending doom due to competition from Twitter might now be averted.

Williams told questioners that all Twitter users would have the new Twitter (aka #newtwitter) within “weeks,” and that the classic Twitter website would be phased out. He mentioned that the company is working on its own Android (s GOOG) app internally* (sorry Twidroyd), and that it plans to improve its BlackBerry (s RIMM) app. *Update: I should have mentioned Twitter for Android is already out — it was a silly omission, because I use it myself!

Here are some other features Williams said are in the works:

  • A URL shortener to make links shared on the new better fit into 140 characters (“Not yet, but definitely something we want to add.” C’mon, really? This is my main complaint about the new Twitter so far. Total chafe.)
  • Conversations that show back-and-forth tweets by users (Twitter is “working on it now.”)
  • Translation to read tweets in other languages (Williams says this is a potential future feature that “we’re exploring.”)
  • Additional countries added to the trending topic feature

There’s a great organized transcript of the Q&A on Search Engine Land or you can search for the hashtag #askev. Williams said he’d conduct more of these sessions in the future.

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