You might remember a few months ago when Twitter started telling third-party developers in no uncertain terms that they should shy away from building Twitter clients. Shortly thereafter, popular third-party client UberTwitter got a wrist-smack from Twitter, forcing a name change and a resubmission of its client for API access.
If reports coming from SAI pan out to be true, then the US Federal Trade Comission is quite interested in Twitter’s handling of its third-party builders and trouble could be on the horizon. According to a representative from UberMedia, the parent company of UberSocial (prevously UberTwitter):
We have been contacted by the FTC and are in the process of responding to their requests.
SAI reports that another app maker has been “advised not to talk about” the matter.
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. 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.
UberMedia CEO Bill Gross responded to the charges, saying in an interview that UberSocial had changed its practices, though he did deny any wrongdoing in how the application was operating from the start.
Herein lies the issue at hand. If there really wasn’t more to the UberMedia and Twitter deal than what we were being told, then the matter was resolved long ago. So, either we haven’t yet heard the whole story, or the FTC is simply sticking its nose into an already-dead issue.