Loren Brichter, who is arguably the most influential mobile app developer today, made his name with Twitter apps — first, with the one that introduced the world to the now-ubiquitous pull-to-refresh concept and eventually became Twitter’s official iPhone app, then with the short-lived iPad app that pioneered the “cell swipe” design.
That makes today’s news especially interesting. Mike Matas, a product designer at Facebook, just posted:
Really excited to have @lorenb helping my team out at Facebook.— Mike Matas
Indeed, Brichter’s Facebook shows that he recently entered Facebook’s orbit — Chris Cox is the Vice President of Product at Facebook:
Neither Facebook nor Brichter immediately returned requests for comment, and it’s not clear if Brichter has been hired full-time or as a freelancer (based on the language in the post, likely the latter). But Brichter, who left Twitter and since published a successful game called Letterpress, is a huge get; the WSJ profiled him recently, calling him the “high priest of app design.” He, like Matas, spent time at Apple during the early iPhone days.
Facebook’s current primary mobile app is a huge improvement over its last one, which was notoriously sluggish (it also includes both pull-to-refresh and cell-swipe functions). But Matas is working primarily on Facebook Home right now, which, while probably the most design-forward product Facebook has ever released, was met with tepid reviews, so it’s safe to assume Brichter will be working on that.
Update: Brichter declined to talk about the specifics of his work with Facebook. “Sorry, trying to keep a low profile,” he writes.