I’ve been banging on of late about Twitter’s boneheaded thinking regarding developers. Short version: Ryan Sarver, who heads up Twitter’s platform team, tells people to stop making Twitter clients, because:

With more people joining Twitter and accessing the service in multiple ways, a consistent user experience is more crucial than ever.

Twitter then starts making life difficult for devs by screwing around with how logins work, except for in their own clients, obviously, (which Twitter claims are part of the service, so THAT’S ALL RIGHT, THEN).

Reports are now coming in from all over that Twitter has bought TweetDeck (CNet). I personally can’t stand TweetDeck, but I know a lot of people who use it, and if third-party clients were all shot in the head, TweetDeck’s death would cause the biggest uproar. Therefore, it’s going to be extremely interesting to see what Twitter does next.

Conceivably, it could kill TweetDeck, but that makes no sense. Even if the purchase was made defensively, to stop TweetDeck becoming a client for a rival service, too many Twitter users work with TweetDeck to make the app disappear. Twitter could roll the column and multi-account-post functionality into its own clients, perhaps as an ‘advanced’ option, but that doesn’t sit right with the, frankly, bare-bones nature of Twitter’s official clients.

The only sensible course of action is for Twitter to continue allowing TweetDeck to exist, but then that makes a mockery of Sarver’s statement about consistency (although as Steve Lyb has noted, Twitter’s doing perfectly well on its own in that regard). Still, given the ‘one rule for us, and another for everyone else, which largely involves PUNCHING DEVS IN THE FACE UNTIL THEY GET THE HINT AND BUGGER OFF’ mindset Twitter apparently employs these days, that last option wouldn’t surprise me at all.