If life is getting uncomfortable in the death quadrant, the maker of several popular Twitter clients is doing a good job of playing it cool.
OneLouder has just released the Web site version of Slices, an app I wrote about at the start of the month that lets you organize your timelines into categories, bookmark key accounts, and easily explore the Twitter universe. The site, which is in beta, synchs seamlessly with the mobile version.
Given that Slices is a Twitter client, one would suspect it is under threat. In its recently announced and highly controversial changes to its API rules, Twitter reiterated that developers “should not build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.”
It seems that Slices, which creates a new, and more customizable, timeline for users, does just that. But OneLouder president Evan Conway believes his company’s apps should be fine. “We continue to believe there is an opportunity to provide value-added capabilities to Twitter,” Conway told me via email. “While we started as a Twitter client, we have tried to listen to Twitter and create curation and other unique capabilities that extend the Twitter market.”
The Kansas City company is also the maker of the SportCaster and TweetCaster apps. Conway says the products offer ways to present content to Twitter users who might have been disillusioned or “were not aware of the amazing wealth of content within Twitter.”
He also said that Twitter’s ability to make money from third-party clients is protected because it can embed sponsored Tweets within the tweet stream included in the APIs. Twitter could crack down on companies that deliberately hide paid tweets, he said, but OneLouder would not be among them.
“Frankly, companies that don’t present the stream and show only bits and pieces represent a larger monetization challenge to Twitter than apps that the stream in its entirety.”
The Slices app got off to a strong start. It was featured by Google, Apple, and Amazon in their app stores in the same week and counted 300,000 downloads in the first 14 days.