Friday, February 18, 2011

Twitter Vs. UberTwitter

If you are a Blackberry and Twitter user then you probably already know about the ban-hammer that Twitter hit UberTwitter with earlier today. The problem is that the official response wasn't very clear. Additional information was picked up by other blogs. But the damage was already done, people immediately felt that Twitter was killing it's competition in the mobile market.

It didn't help that #TwitterMobile was made a promoted trending topic, directing users where to download the official Twitter for Blackberry app. I'm sure this was done to help confused users get back on-line as quickly as possible, but scorned UberTwitter users saw this as additional evidence that Twitter was just trying to squash competitors.

The official reason for blocking UberTwitter is that they were violating the Twitter API policies. If this is truly the case then UberTwitter just needs to correct those violations. It also sounds like they've had nearly a year to correct some of these issues. It's not like Twitter didn't give them ample time.

But who are the users mad at? Twitter, not UberTwitter. The anger and frustration is understandable but misdirected. If Twitter is being honest about looking out for their customer base and simply enforcing the policies it makes everyone stick to, then why should they have to take the heat? They are doing what they have to do or risk being overrun by developers abusing the Twitter API and worse abusing Twitter data.

It's entirely possible that Twitter is doing all this to knock out a competitor, but that seems unlikely simply because it's only targeting a couple large clients, not all of them. Many Twitter clients are unaffected.

Hell, it may simply be Twitter enforcing it's copyright. UberTwitter has the word Twitter right in it. So this could all be resolved with a simple name change.

UPDATE: From @UberTwitter at approximately 3:24 PM CST, 02/18/2011

Interesting. This doesn't suggest a new download for users or anything. So what WAS the problem or will there be a new version of UberTwitter to come yet?

UPDATE 2: 2/19/2011

Well it seems that perhaps the name WAS the issue, as now UberTwitter is known as UberSocial. also redirects you to, So a new version of the software is now available for download as of 5:00PM CST. Additionally their Twitter account has been changed to: @UberSoc

Yesterday evening they posted these two posts:

This suggests not only was the name the issue but also a feature that UberTwitter had was deemed unacceptable to the Twitter team.

No comments: