UberMedia, developer of several popular applications that connect users to Twitter, is reportedly in the midst of creating a social media network that would rival the popular platform, according to a CNN report.
The developer, which created what was once called UberTwitter and is now known as UberSocial (along with Twidroyd and UberCurrent, two other Twitter apps) has a history of clashing with the microblogging monster. In February, Twitter suspended UberMedia’s apps from its platform, citing violations of Twitters terms of service.
UberMedia CEO Bill Gross issued a statement at the time saying his company had made the “very small” changes to its apps that Twitter requested and had re-posted UberMedia’s apps to various online app stores. He announced the UberTwitter name change then as well, citing a request from Twitter.
The CNN report cites three unnamed sources who were allegedly briefed on UberMedia’s plans to build its own social network.
The service would seek to attract users by addressing common complaints about Twitter, such as its restriction on the length of a message and how it can be confusing to newcomers, according to these sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the plans.
TechCrunch recently reported that UberMedia acquired TweetDeck, but that deal has yet to be announced.
After the app name change and the skirmish with Twiter, UberMedia was counted out by a commentator writing on TheAtlantic.com:
One, two, three strikes. UberSocial bills itself as a “key communications tool,” but there are several other free Twitter clients that work across platforms, offer the same or similar features and haven't been suspended for violating terms of service. It’s recommended that UberTwitter or UberSocial users find another application for reading and sending their micro-notes.
UberMedia apparently took that kind of criticism as a challenge. All these developments, if true, not only would create competition for Twitter where there essentially is none directly right now, they also points to interesting issues about developers’ relationship with social media platforms and the fine line between developer and service. Many developers benefit greatly from the success of trailblazers like Twitter, yet Twitter has reprimanded developers publicly for creating apps that are too close to the functionality of its own service.
Those kinds of rules typically don’t sit well with developers, who tend to be fiercely independent, creative and competitive. If UberMedia is successful in launching a Twitter competitor, could it forever change relationship between developers and social media platform from relations to rivals?