Report: UberMedia to launch Twitter competitor

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

UberMedia, a company which has coded multiple Twitter apps, may be planning to launch its own site to compete with the social networking giant.

According to CNN, the service would be designed to address common problems people have with Twitter. For example, it might eliminate the length restriction (140 characters) or make the network more accessible to newcomers who are confused by the standard UI.

Of course, Twitter has squashed competition in the past, in particular FriendFeed and Google Buzz, and now boasts around 200 million registered users.

Just last week, Twitter released statistics saying users were sending 155 million tweets a day, a 282% increase from a year ago.

Still, the social networking site is continuing to fend off third-party devs, as it recently sent out a memo discouraging the creation of standard client apps.

Twitter has instead asked the programmers to code software that presents data in a new and interesting way - rather than the traditional list format seen on Twitter.com.

Clearly, developers who believed they had helped Twitter grow were not too happy about the memo.

UberMedia and Twitter have a particularly hairy relationship as Twitter shut out three of UberMedia’s apps in February saying they were in violation of company policies.

Twitter also asked UberMedia to change the name of two of its apps: UberTwitter and UberSocial. Perhaps the proposed Twitter competitor may actually decide to launch a new service if the already difficult relationship continues to deteriorate.

However, UberMedia marketing chief Steve Chadima is keeping tight-lipped about any potential plans, saying only: 

"Our foremost desire is to continue to innovate on the Twitter platform and bring more users and usage to Twitter."

Nevertheless, an UberMedia-powered Twitter competitor could theoretically succeed, as its apps are already familiar to many users and could tempt their customer base.

Developers "can't rely on [just] one social network," said Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst for research firm Altimeter Group.

"They need to not put all their eggs in one basket. Being on Twitter alone is not going to work."