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FTC Eyeing Twitter, According to Report, Others Question Validity

Twitter developer relationships under scrutiny?

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FTC Eyeing Twitter, According to Report, Others Question Validity
[ Social Media]

Business Insider is running a report claiming “Twitter is under federal investigation” from the Federal Trade Commission. This is related to how the company has dealt with third-party apps: acquiring things like Tweetie and TweetDeck turning them into proprietary apps, shutting down third-party Twitter ad networks, and launching its own photo/video sharing functionality, effectively rendering third-party apps that provide such functionality useless.

Twitter has ruffled developers feathers quite a bit in the last year or so, but is this all enough to warrant regulatory scrutiny? Neither Twitter nor the FTC has commented on the matter.

So far, the only other publication I see talking about this is TheNextWeb, which is questioning the authenticity of the report. “I’m playing the role of skeptic here, though, because much of what is being reported as the cause of the investigation doesn’t make sense,” writes the publication’s Brad McCarty. “If we look back at the case of UberSocial, the app was accused of not only violating trademark with its name, but also of mishandling how it sent direct messages that were over 140 characters in length.”

Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider shares a quote from Bill Gross, CEO of UberMedia (operator of UberSocial), who also once launched TweetUp as a Twitter ad network. The quote is: “We have been contacted by the FTC and are in the process of responding to their requests.”

Carlson also says another app maker said they were advised by their lawyer not to talk about it.

The report does follow another from GigaOm, that Twitter is set to launch a site for developers designed to provide developers with more information, and presumably communication. Carlson thinks this is related.

Update: Forbes has put out an article basically saying the BI article is full of it.

FTC Eyeing Twitter, According to Report, Others Question Validity
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  • http://www.help-filing-bankruptcy.com/ Sophie

    I’ve never gotten the appeal of twitter. It always makes me giggle when I hear people say they “tweet”

  • http://www.twitterthemepark.com/ TwitterthemePark

    Twitter says, “Every day, the world writes the equivalent to 10 million-page book in Tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace.” If so many amounts of tweets are being done every day it means more or less Twitter need third-party apps and developers to manage its content so that everyone from every source and from every location can reach Twitter, tweet, read and manage what he says. Features like selecting the multiple followers, unfollow them or follow them with a single click are not in original Twitter website. We make use of third-party apps for this. Let us have FTC to investigate the matter to bring out new good system for Twitter, third-party developers and for us.