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April 14, 2011

Can UberMedia 'Out-Twitter' Twitter? They're Going to Try

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Those of us who found no real use for Twitter might have another fad to ignore soon. According to CNN, UberMedia, “which owns several popular applications that interface with Twitter, is outlining plans to build a social network that could compete with that popular microblogging platform, said three people who were briefed on the plans.”


Evidently they see their opportunity in Twitter’s message length restrictions and the fact that it’s apparently “confusing” to newbies. Friends, if you can’t figure out Twitter, social media may not be for you.

UberMedia certainly has the experience and the chops, they own UberSocial, Echofon and Twidroyd, apps that “connect to Twitter and offer features beyond Twitter's own software,” as CNN says.

“Twitter competitors such as FriendFeed or Google (News - Alert) Buzz have failed to catch on with mainstream users -- although some, like Tumblr, are growing,” CNN reports. Studies also show that relatively few of Twitter’s 200 million accounts are actually used on any regular basis.

Technolog reported recently that “Our source's API data shows that there are 56 million accounts on Twitter following 8 or more accounts. There are only 38 million following 16, and just 12 million following 64.” Compare that with the fact that out of the 600 million Facebook (News - Alert) accounts, about 300 million are on the site more or less every day.

In other words, there’s probably a market for somebody who takes what Twitter does and does it better. Longer messages? Maybe. Simpler usage? Maybe. As TIME magazine says, “How do you out-Twitter Twitter? For starters, you offer stuff Twitter doesn't. Like more than 140 characters per dispatch. Anything longer, and you're hopping over to Facebook. Or sticking “more…” links in your tweets that lead followers to separate websites--something Twitter could itself easily add by offering optional “more” pop-ups or drop-downs (why they haven't already is anyone's guess).”



David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Jennifer Russell


 
 
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