UberMedia – a Twitter-based company built by Bill Gross, the man behind the Google Ads business model – has been on a Twitter app-buying binge lately, making moves that have serious implications for the future of the Twitter ecosystem.
In recent weeks, UberMedia has been making waves by buying up several Twitter apps and app developers – the most notable acquisition being Twitter dashboard TweetDeck, expected to be completed by the end of the month. The company has also received a nice shot in the arm in the form of $17.5 million raised in a round of funding that closed this week.
All of this activity has put the spotlight on UberMedia, and its relationship with Twitter. Bill Gross is rumored to be on not-so-great terms with the company he is building his empire on top of, whispers which UberMedia has tried to quash. Still, UberMedia does present a potentially unique threat to Twitter, so we wouldn’t be surprised if there were some serious tensions between the two companies.
UberMedia is quickly aggregating the Twitter ecosystem into a single unit. It now holds one of the most popular Twitter management systems in TweetDeck, as well as some of the most popular Twitter apps for Android, Blackberry and iPhone. And UberMedia offers a Twitter advertising solution which is in direct competition to Twitter’s own Promoted Products suite.
The more news that comes out of UberMedia’s actions, the more it looks like the company wants to either compete with, or at least share the glory with, Twitter.
While no one is really sure of UberMedia’s strategy just yet, it’s clear the company is looking to amass as many Twitter users as possible, likely with the goal of monetizing them via its keyword-based Twitter ads or possible “premium” plans for its various Twitter clients.
While a potential partnership between UberMedia and Twitter might make sense on the surface, Twitter analysts suspect the company wouldn’t be that receptive to the idea. Twitter clearly wants to control a good chunk of the Twitter ecosystem itself, with the recent purchase of the most popular Twitter app for iPhone and its restriction of whitelisting developers for access to its API.
Analysts are predicting several outcomes for the tense situation between UberMedia and Twitter.
Business Insider presents a number of possible outcomes, including UberMedia buying up enough apps and accumulating enough users to create its own Twitter-like network to rival Twitter itself. This would be a long process, and require a savvy marketing campaign to lure users away from Twitter, but it could be one of the possible goals of UberMedia.
Business Insider also suggests that Google or Facebook might be interested, eventually, in purchasing UberMedia to get a toe-hold in the Twitter ecosystem. This could then be used as leverage towards purchasing Twitter at a discount, or, again, building a separate network to compete with Twitter’s.
Whatever the outcome, you can be sure there will be some significant shakeups in the Twitter ecosystem due to UberMedia’s bold moves.