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App maker said to be planning Twitter competitor
UberMedia, which owns several popular applications that interface with Twitter, is outlining plans to build a social network that could compete with that popular microblogging platform, said three people who were briefed on the plans. 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 authorised to speak publicly about the plans. UberMedia is a leading developer of apps and Web-based services that help users communicate on Twitter and other social media platforms. The Pasadena, California-based company has amassed a small empire of apps—among them UberSocial, Echofon and Twidroyd—that connect to Twitter and offer features beyond Twitter’s own software.
Together, those UberMedia programmes accounted for about 11.5 per cent of tweets sent on one day last month, according to a study by market research firm Sysomos. UberSocial is the third most-popular way to send tweets, behind Twitter’s Web site and official iPhone app, the study found. TweetDeck is tied with Twitter’s own BlackBerry app as the fourth most-popular software for sending messages, Sysomos said. UberMedia is in talks to acquire TweetDeck, but that deal hasn’t been finalised, according to a person familiar with the matter. Industry Web site TechCrunch first reported on the talks. “The audience for TweetDeck is very different” from the people who use Twitter’s official apps, Tony Haile, a general manager for Betaworks, said a year ago. The technology incubator is where TweetDeck started. “We never competed on core functionality.” Twitter has experienced rapid growth since its launch five years ago and now has about 200 million registered users. Last week, Twitter said users were sending 155 million tweets a day, a 282per cenr increase over a year ago. Sign-ups over the most recent quarter were up 52 per cent compared with the year before, Twitter said.
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