Twitter starts war with emerging rival UberMedia

By Laurie Segall, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A war is breaking out in the Twitterverse.

On Friday, Twitter suspended UberMedia's UberTwitter and twidroyd, two popular apps used for mobile Twitter access.

Twitter said it made the move because those clients violated its policies.

"These violations include, but aren't limited to, 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," Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner said.

UberMedia hasn't disclosed how many people use its mobile apps, but Twitter acknowledged that the suspension "may affect a larger number of users." Twitter itself has around 200 million registered users and a daily tweet volume of 110 million messages.

UberMedia scampered to get itself into compliance.

"The changes they asked us to make were very small," UberMedia CEO Bill Gross said late Friday in a prepared statement. "As a result, we have completed the changes, and new apps are currently being posted to their respective stores."

Gross also said that per Twitter's request it is modifying UberTwitter's name.

"We've decided, based on their input, to change the product name to UberSocial, which we completed today," he said.

On Twitter, Gross assured users that the apps would be up and running soon: "As soon as Twitter reactivates, you will be live again," he tweeted.

The very public wrangle comes on the heels of murmuring about tension between the two companies. UberMedia -- a venture-backed startup building a portfolio of Twitter add-ons -- is in talks to acquire TweetDeck, one of the most popular Twitter clients.

UberMedia, then called TweetUp, was created early last year by Idealab entrepreneur Bill Gross. The company's goal is to create a complete line-up of apps and services built atop Twitter's platform.

As a potential head-to-head rival for Twitter, UberMedia is in a precarious position. In an interview with CNNMoney earlier this week, company COO Jon Kraft insisted that relations between the two companies remain friendly.

"We're not in any way a competitive -- we do have a good relationship with Twitter," he said. To top of page

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