Last Updated: February 20th, 2011

Twitter's laying down the bird-law this morning, and the owners of Twidroyd, UberMedia, don't have much in the way of good news to tweet about right now (I am so sorry for that entire sentence).

Twitter has suspended access to its social network from Twidroyd, UberTwitter, and UberCurrent - three apps owned by UberMedia. Why? Gizmodo claims it's for the following reasons:

UberMedia "violated Twitter policies and trademarks in a variety of ways." Like "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."

I don't use Twidroyd, so I have no idea what any of this is all about aside from the trademark infringement issue. UberMedia's UberTwitter client clearly violates the trademark on the Twitter name, but apparently the infringement could extend down to use of the word "tweet." It's easy to see why Twitter might be upset about this, as a company rapidly having to figure out a way to monetize its hugely popular service, there's a need to rein in 3rd party software that is trying to do the same.

Interestingly, UberMedia is currently in the process of acquiring the well-know social feed client TweetDeck - a name change may be in order there as well, if Twitter has its way.

Since it's based entirely on the feed model, Twitter itself doesn't offer a lot more functionality than any feed client that can access your Twitter account, and this probably makes investors wary of the possibility that Twitter could lose control of how its service is used unless it starts pulling strings right now. Given the explosive smartphone market and Twitter's natural affinity for use thereon, the mobile space is probably the best place to start.

However, this doesn't make Twitter's decision a good one - you can bet your blue canaries that every 3rd party developer working on an app integrating a Twitter feed just collectively clenched their anuses in fear. Seesmic seems pretty optimistic, though.

BusinessInsider, Gizmodo

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Ken

    "changing the content of users’ Tweets in order to make money."

    Come again? I use Twidroyd and I've never seen that happen.

    • http://iandouglas.com Ian Douglas

      They may employ a url shortener that somehow makes them money?

      • Ken

        It defaults to bit.ly.

  • Jason

    From what I understand twydroyd was pulled due to in app login authorization. Weeks ago, possibly months, twitter asked that all 3rd party apps use a OAUTH or identca protocol instead on logging in directly from the app.

    • Ken

      I doubt it. When I opened Twidroyd, Twitted posted two fake tweets (I don't follow them, but they sent them to me anyway), just telling me I should use their official client.

      Maybe they're using some ostensible violation as an excuse, but I think what's really going on is a power grab. Apparently it's not working, as Twitter for Android (the official client) is seeing its rating in Android Market plummet as dozens (hundreds?) have users have logged into market to give it one star in protest.

      • Jason

        Funny, because I can't find a single twitter app that doesn't use OAUTH or ident.ca other than twidroyd. It also states just what I said in the API. Even money when it's allowed back on you're accessing twitter.com to logon.

  • anonymous

    *rein, not reign...it's about horses not kings

    • David Ruddock

      On a related note, Kings have been known to ride horses.


  • Zach Reichenberg

    Well, this should be interesting. I know I'm not very happy, those of us that paid for these applications are being denied the right to use them.
    I'm torn at the moment, my gut reaction is that we should be getting a refund, be it through UberMedia or Google; though at the same time, I understand that it's not UberMedia's decision, or something they can really control.

    Edit: "~~ PLEASE RT ~~ a new version of twidroyd that resolves our twitter ban will be avail. shortly on the android market. FTW"

    Lets hope this doesn't just bypass the ban.