According to a report from All Things D, Twitter is entertaining the idea of a standalone messaging app. This news is in addition to the revelation that Twitter is rolling out a service which would allow users to direct message one another on Twitter without having to follow each other.
Citing the ever-so-popular “people familiar with the matter”, All Things D notes that Twitter was particularly interested in Snapchat’s rise to prominence, going so far as to conduct surveys to gauge interest in that particular messaging service. Twitter is also said to have met with MessageMe employees earlier this year, though the nature of those talks wasn’t disclosed.
This all seems to be an effectation of Twitter’s confused identity as a messaging platform, and a muddled strategy to gain (and keep) users. If Twitter were to both allow direct messages and have a messaging app, where the difference is we can’t quite tell. As Twitter prepares for an IPO, they may just be working to find a way to add value to a messaging system that is losing favor.
This also tosses a Twitter-y hat into the crowded and confusing messaging app landscape. Users currently have far too many choices, with the likes of WhatsApp and the aforementioned Snapchat, among others. Couple that with the possibility (probably just a matter of time, really) that Hangouts will support SMS, and we wonder where Twitter fits in.