Rumors are flying today that the number-one Twitter app maker, UberMedia, might be starting up its own Twitter-like network in direct competition with Twitter itself. And, while all of the sources cited are anonymous, the move wouldn’t be a huge surprise – but it would be a massive shakeup.
CNN reported Wednesday morning that several sources claimed that UberMedia was considering creating its own social network to compete with Twitter:
“The service would seek to attract users by addressing common complaints about Twitter, such as its restriction on the length of a message and how it can be confusing to newcomers, according to these sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the plans.”
They apparently spoke to three separate sources close to the information, who all said the same thing.
As the article points out, UberMedia’s many Twitter apps – including UberSocial, Twidroyd and Echofon – together are the third-most popular way to access Twitter just behind Twitter.com and Twitter’s official iPhone app.
There were also rumors a few months ago that UberMedia was in talks to buy TweetDeck, the most popular Twitter dashboard.
So, what do all of these bold moves from UberMedia mean?
It looks like there is a chance that the company might build its own social network to directly compete with Twitter. UberMedia has millions of people logging in to its platforms and apps each month, and a lot of these people complain about Twitter’s shortcomings – its 140-character restriction, for instance. If UberMedia were to lure away all of its current users from Twitter to join its own network which offered longer messages and other features, it might just take a small bite out of Twitter.
UberSocial has been buying up as many apps as possible to own the entry-points for millions of Twitter users. If they were to flip the switch and offer a new social network to these users that looks very much like Twitter but improved even slightly, they stand a chance of building a viable Twitter competitor.
The sources cited by CNN may be anonymous, but they’re not saying anything that we haven’t suspected. In fact, we theorized that UberMedia might be gearing up for its own social network back in February.
The relationship between Twitter and UberMedia is already quite strained, and these rumors will no doubt fuel that fire. Twitter had suspended some of UberMedia’s apps for violating its policies, and UberMedia’s creation of UberChannels to compete with Twitter lists are two recent points of conflict.
We’ll keep our eyes on this story and let you know of any developments.