UberMedia Launches UberChannels – Are They Gearing up to Compete with Twitter Lists?

Today UberMedia, the largest provider of Twitter dashboards and applications, announced the launch of “UberChannels”, a way for users of its Twitter clients to access select tweets from a variety of news sources, sorted into channels so that users can quickly skim each group of accounts’ offerings. And it sound awfully like a branded Twitter list, doesn’t it?

UberMedia announced four launch partners which will provide the content for its first set of channels available on UberSocial and Twydroid: USA Today, Mashable, Bleacher Report and Duke Basketball.

The press release announcing these UberChannels explains:

“Each UberChannel displays a wide variety of the publisher’s Tweets that have been organized by topic for more convenient access. Users will be able to read the latest posts from leading reporters and other contributors without having to seek out and follow them directly.”

Does this sound familiar? This is exactly the kind of experience you get when you follow a Twitter List. A List is a curated group of accounts whose tweets you can follow just by following the List – you don’t need to follow each account within.

Now, there are some problems with Twitter Lists that make them a rather unwieldy way monitor multiple Twitter accounts at once. You don’t see retweets made by anyone in a Twitter List, nor can you add or remove people from a List that you didn’t create. Perhaps UberChannels will set out to compete with Twitter Lists across some of these factors, which are definitely the official version’s weak spots.

UberMedia has had a notoriously sticky relationship with Twitter, despite building its entire business model on top of it. Recently, Twitter briefly suspended UberMedia’s Twydroid app for violating its policies, and Twitter warned UberSocial users that their Direct Messages might not be secure. It’s clearly a tense relationship.

We’ll see what UberChannels turns into, but if it’s anything like it’s description, it’s basically a form of branded Twitter List. If UberSocial does one-up Twitter on the features front, however, we might see some serious sparks fly.