Two years after Twitter’s coming-out party here at Austin’s South by Southwest festival, the white-hot microblogging company is skipping the event altogether. Evan Williams and Biz Stone, who head up Twitter, decided to take a rain check.
And so the limelight has shifted to entrepreneurs like Loic Le Meur, who has created two third-party applications that allow Twitter users to better organize and view their tweets, Seesmic and Twhirl. Today, Le Meur announced a new version of his Seesmic desktop client that will allow users to similarly track their friends’ updates on Facebook.
This is the first time that Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has opened up its feeds to a desktop application. Following on the tail of the site’s launch of new home pages that prominently feature a real-time news feed, this move represents another step towards the company more directly competing with Twitter.
But why not have the best of both worlds? By the end of March, Le Meur will make available an updated version of Seesmic that combines Twitter and Facebook status updates. The program will be called Seesmic – which means the entrepreneur is effectively killing off the Twhirl brand.
And some time in the next six weeks, Le Meur tells BusinessWeek, we’ll see a Seesmic application for the iPhone.
In this video, Le Meur discusses his plans and answers the question: Are Facebook and Twitter on a collision course?