UberMedia, maker of mobile Twitter clients for various platforms, is looking to build its own social network that would directly compete with Twitter as a s microblogging platform. The report, which originated from CNN, cited three people who are familiar with the matter.
The UberMedia platform would do away with some of the features–or what the company sees as restrictions–on Twitter, such as the 140-character limit on a message. Additional details were not revealed.
The company has a number of leading Twitter apps for BlackBerry, iOS, and Android platforms, including Echofon, UberSocial, and Twidroyd that extend functionality beyond Twitter’s own first-party clients. The apps released by UberMedia are the third most popular way to interface with Twitter behind Twitter’s own website and iOS app.
In order to be successful in its social network, UberMedia would have to gain critical mass and attract a large enough user base–perhaps even away from Twitter–for its own network to be viable.
As Twitter gains in popularity, its relationship with developers have become increasingly strained, and tensions between Twitter and UberMedia may be the cause of the latter’s desire to create a rival service. Recently, Twitter had discouraged developers from creating apps that closely mimic or replicate Twitter’s own offering. Instead, Twitter wants third-party developers to find innovative ways to display tweets and data. The service had temporarily suspended UberMedia’s apps because it said UberMedia were in violation of some of the company’s policies.
As apps from UberMedia pack more functionality into the client than Twitter’s native app offerings, an UberMedia-created network could succeed with power users who demand more from microblogging. The company’s popular apps could help create a base of users.
However, the creation of its own social network may be a last ditch effort, and would only happen if the relationship with Twitter continues to be strained.
Rival app-maker TweekDeck also has its own service. TweetDeck users can also sign up for a TweetDeck account to synchronize information across platforms, and with the account, users can also post to Deck.ly where messages longer than Twitter’s 140-character limit would be accepted. UberMedia could follow a similar strategy.
Until Twitter begins to renew its relationship with developers and help developers understand its plans and strategy to add value to the platform, it may begin to lose support as rival services begin to pop up.
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