Exclusive: Twitter Ends Celeb-Tracker Partnership

Twitter has terminated its relationship with a Web site that will track the whereabouts of celebrities.

On Thursday, after The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reported the planned arrival of JustSpotted, Twitter said it did not license its data to JustSpotted, but to that company’s parent, a search engine called Scoopler.

Twitter executives refused to discuss the matter, choosing instead to issue a statement: “JustSpotted, then known as Scoopler, had previously licensed Twitter’s firehose data feed of all public tweets for its real-time search engine, Scoopler.com. JustSpotted.com is not the product we licensed, and we have terminated their agreement.”

JustSpotted CEO AJ Asver confirmed that Twitter notified him Thursday of its decision to sever its relationship with his company, but he said it won’t matter because the firehose data feed of public tweets isn’t crucial for the operation of JustSpotted.

Scoopler was founded two years ago, but ended operations this week. Visitors to that Web site are steered to a skeletal version of JustSpotted.

While Twitter said it was unaware that Scoopler intended to morph into JustSpotted while continuing to use Twitter’s data, Asver said he told Twitter executives of the plan weeks ago. He added, though, that point was moot.

“We have not been using the firehose since Scoopler shut down on Tuesday,” Asver said. “We were actually going to call Twitter and end the deal anyway because we’re using publicly available applications and Web sites to organize Twitter data.

JustSpotted intends on using tweets, along with Facebook and Foursquare posts to track celebrities. Visitors to the site, beginning Tuesday, will be able to locate the whereabouts of 7,000 different celebs who may have ventured out into public where they can be spotted.

“We’re launching on Oct. 19. We’re good to go,” Asver said.

Asver added: “I don’t know who else has access to the Twitter firehose, I just know that we no longer do.”

JustSpotted was sure to generate some controversy, given the Orwellian feel of the initiative and worry among celebrities that their already tenuous privacy would be shattered completely.
Asver, though, maintains his site will be “celebrity friendly” and that he even intends on striking marketing deals with many of the very people he will track.

When launched Tuesday, JustSpotted will also aggregate news about celebrities organized by name.

This story updates and replaces an item posted earlier today.