Tag Archives | Twitter

The Return of UberMedia's Twitter Apps

UberMedia has released a statement saying that it’s responded to Twitter’s concerns about its apps and this morning’s blockade against them is over:

Early Friday morning, Twitter shut off access to its service by several of our Twitter client applications:  UberTwitter, Twidroyd, and UberCurrent.  Twitter then notified us that they believed we were in violation of several provisions of their terms of service.

We were immediately in touch with Twitter, and the changes they asked us to make were very small.  As a result, we have completed the changes, and new apps are currently being posted to their respective stores.  Twitter has assured us that as soon as those changes were complete, they would reactivate our applications.

Twitter also asked us to modify the name of UberTwitter.  We began a process of changing the name three weeks ago by polling our users, and we’ve decided based on their input to change the product name to UberSocial, which we completed today.

To our millions of loyal users, we appreciate your patience during this temporary period.  We look forward to continuing our innovations on the Twitter platform.

Bill Gross, CEO

UberMedia, Inc.


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Twitter Blocks UberTwitter and Twidroyd

Are you a user of UberTwitter (a popular BlackBerry Twitter client) or Twidroyd (a major Twitter client for Android)? If so, you need a backup plan: Twitter began blocking both apps today for violating its rules. (Both are owned by UberMedia, which seems to be intent on cornering the market on third-party Twitter apps–earlier this week, it acquired TweetDeck.)

Twitter is releasing a statement to various sites saying that the offending apps (and sister app UberCurrent) are guilty of “violations [that] include, but aren’t limited to, a privacy issue with private Direct Messages longer than 140 characters, trademark infringement, and changing the content of users’ Tweets in order to make money.” It also says it’s been trying to resolve concerns with UberMedia for months. Even if Twitter’s gripes are entirely legit–and they may well be–it’s a fascinating question of conflict of interest given that UberMedia’s apps all compete with official ones from Twitter itself. Ones which Twitter plugged in its message to UberTwitter and Twidroyd users.

Any users of UberMedia’s apps out there? If so, what are you doing today?


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Once Again, Tweets From Egypt

Google (and SayNow, which it just acquired) and Twitter have a clever and gutsy response to the Egyptian government’s Internet shutoff: a service that lets anyone tweet (and follow tweets) using a telephone. You can listen to tweets from Egypt here; it’s a fascinating, moving experience even if you can’t understand them. (Here’s one in English.)


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Twitter's Ad Revenues Expected to Triple by 2012

It seems like it was only yesterday that all the analysts were saying that Twitter was doomed because it couldn’t make money. But times have changed: research firm eMarketer says the social networking service could bring in $150 million this year, and $250 million in 2012. Those numbers would be a significant increase over the estimated $45 million in ad revenues this past year.

One  of Twitter’s challenges was figuring out how it to monetize the service without cluttering its users’ timelines with ads. Thus it has gone a different route through “promoted” tweets, which it introduced in April of last year. And while the company hasn’t provided too many details, it looks like it’s seriously considering other money-generating strategies as well.

eMarketer seems to think so too, saying the tripling of ad revenues will have a lot to do with a self-service ad feature that the firm expects to be launched in 2011. Other companies such as Microsoft and Google have built siginficant advertising business, supported in large part by the self-service platforms both companies have built and maintained.

Advertising was something that I think we all knew was eventually going to come to Twitter. A company can grow at Twitter’s astronomical rate only so long without a solid source of revenue. Let’s just hope whatever it decides to do is not disruptive to the user experience.


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Twitter and Southwest Need to Check Their Security

At every available opportunity, I partake in airborne WiFi services. Yeah, I know public wireless isn’t the most secure form of connectivity. But, at the same time, I haven’t been bothered to set up a personal tunnel. And I’ll do just about anything to pass the time on a cross country flight… as I did when returning from CES last week. Southwest’s wireless service runs a mere $5 during testing and linking up on my LAS>BWI flight (3140, 1/8) was a no brainer – especially as I hadn’t loaded up my iPhone with content and my Kindle was left at home.

Unfortunately, there’s something not quite right with their Internet connection in relation to Twitter. As you can see, I wasn’t the only one in my account:

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The Tech That Got People Talking on Twitter in 2010

Topsy is a search engine whose results are determined the pages people are talking about and linking to on Twitter. The more a page gets mentioned–especially by influential Twitter users–the higher it’s likely to show up in Topsy’s results. It’s an interesting approach that works well for stuff that people are chattering about at the moment (strangely enough, the results for “chrome os” are meatier than the ones for “rutherford b. hayes.”) It can also do things like show you a list of Twitter users who are oft-retweeted on a given topic (such as HDTV or cars).

The site is built around a giant database of Tweets that have been analyzed and indexed, so the Topsy folks know a lot about the terms that show up most frequently on Twitter. I asked them to compile a report for me on twenty tech terms and how often they were referenced. It’s not a perfect mirror of the Twitter zeitgeist–Topsy only pays attention to Tweets that contain links and ones which have been retweeted, and it finds keywords even if they’re in a URL rather than the meat of the Tweet–but it’s still a useful reality check.

Here it is…

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AT&T Labs Mashes Up Voice, TV, Gestures, and Twitter

“Watching TV is supposed to be fun, right?” asked AT&T’s Michael Johnston. In a press event at the AT&T Labs in New York City, Johnston and other researchers showed off  iRemote, Talkalytics, and dozens of other projects now under way for using AT&T’s long-time Watson speech recognition together with search, gestures, and Twitter analysis.

With all the hundreds of TV channels available today, it can be harder than ever to figure out what to watch, Johnston observed. But through a new iRemote app currently in development, you can speak voice commands into a smartphone to get an immediate list of “all reality shows on Thursday night”–and other categories of TV programs small enough to easily digest — on your TV screen.

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Introspectr Indexes all of your Web Activity

Social networks threw the order of the inbox into disarray. Now, a start-up is seeking to encapsulate every interaction–regardless of where it occurs–into a unified search engine.

A private beta of Introspectr launched last Wednesday following its demo at NYC Tech Meetup that Tuesday night. I was there, and liked what I saw.

Introspectr indexes your Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. It also pulls in content from external URLs such as Bit.ly links embedded in Tweets.

Co-founder Simon Murtha-Smith demonstrated finding a lost apple crisp recipe. The recipe was not named; it was simply referred to as “AC” in a message, followed by a URL. Introspectr still managed to locate the recipe.

The idea is not exactly new, but something like Introspectr could become a necessity for those of us who have an active social life. Gmail solved the e-mail search problem, but e-mail only captures a fragment of today’s conversations.

Google’s Buzz was an attempt to pull social networking into Gmail, but from my perspective it was an oddball addition that didn’t fit. Introspectr is what Google’s inbox should behave like today. It’s simple, and it works.


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Twitter’s Security Mess

Looks like I should be glad I slept in this morning: I managed to miss what sounds like a nightmarish period of worms gone wild on Twitter. (Ars Technica’s Peter Bright has a good recap of what happened, and why.) In retrospect, it looks like the culprits took advantage of a ginormous Twitter security flaw; it’s surprising it took this long for something like this to happen.

Here’s Twitter’s own account of the mess, and an apology for it.


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