Twitter cuts off UberMedia apps for tweets

16:06 | 19/02/2011
Twitter on Friday suspended UberTwitter, UberCurrent, and Twidroyd applications in a clash with a startup that controls a fifth of the "tweets" at the hot microblogging service.
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The UberMedia applications cut off from Twitter handled messages "tweeted" from Android, BlackBerry, or iPhone smartphones.

Other software is available to "tweet" from those kinds of smartphones.

"We have suspended UberTwitter and Twidroyd for violating our policies," Twitter said in a post at the San Francisco firm's online help center.

"Every day, we suspend hundreds of applications that are in violation of our policies."

Twitter added that it was taking the unusual step of sharing the news because "today's suspension may affect a larger number of users."

California-based UberMedia is an Idealab company that has been gobbling up applications people use to synch Twitter messages to various devices.

UberMedia early this month added popular Twitter "client" TweetDeck to Echofon, Twidroyd, and UberTwitter in a stable of applications said to control 20 per cent of "tweets" fired off on any given day.

UberMedia chief executive Bill Gross described his operation as the leading independent provider of applications for reading and posting to Twitter and other social Internet platforms.

UberTwitter, Twidroyd, and UberCurrent were cut of from Twitter early Friday and UberMedia was given notice that they were violating several provisions of terms of service, Gross said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

"We were immediately in touch with Twitter, and the changes they asked us to make were very small," Gross said.

"As a result, we have completed the changes, and new apps are currently being posted to their respective stores," he said. "Twitter has assured us that as soon as those changes were complete, they would reactivate our applications."

Twitter also asked UberMedia to change the name of the "UberTwitter" application, according to Gross. UberMedia rechristened the application "UberSocial" on Friday.

An Accel Ventures led round of funding last week pumped $17.5 million into UberMedia in a move that some thought would spark concern at Twitter that the company might be growing into a competitor.

"Our goal is to enhance the Twitter experience with functionality in our clients and to be the best partner with Twitter in growing and enhancing their ecosystem," Gross said while announcing the Accel investment.

The funding came with the addition of Accel's Jim Breyer to the UberMedia board. Breyer also sits on the board of social networking titan Facebook.

The investment made it clear that UberMedia's plan is to make money from Twitter traffic as Twitter itself grapples with how to cash in on its popularity.


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