Feeds

TwitPic founder tries to pull rug from under Twitter

Revenge rug-tug bid against colossus probably doomed

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The creator of Twitpic, the photo-sharing system sitting atop Twitter, has launched his own Twitter clone.

Heello [sic] launched last week and looks surprisingly like Twitter, in layout and function. It refers to "tweets" as "pings", and "followers" as "listeners", but otherwise has little to distinguish, or recommend, itself, so much so that some are suggesting its just a complicated protest against the overriding power of the establishment.

But founder Noah Everett is having none of that, and argues that Heello will have services and features that make it a viable competitor to Twitter. The first of those resembles Google+ Circles: closed distribution lists that enable one to share posts with a subset of followers, but others are promised.

Everett set up Heello, as a company, last year, but launched the service last week – a day after Twitter started hosting pictures itself.

Until now, anyone wanting to share a picture over Twitter had to post a URL to a hosting service, with Twitpic being one of the more popular services and bringing in a decent living to Everett by displaying advertisements around the images. But last week Twitter itself started hosting photographs, pulling the business model out from under Twitpic and other companies that were providing similar services.

Heello, unsurprisingly, also has a picture-sharing service built in, but other than that the differences are hard to spot: Heello puts the profile on the left (while Twitter puts it on the right), and Heello has a picture of a cloud in the background, but take a look at Heello's Twitter feed and it's hard to tell where you are.

In social networking the barriers to entry are almost insurmountable, as Google has repeatedly demonstrated, but incumbents do tend to become moribund when competition is lacking. In China, where the government's ban on Twitter has created a competitive field, the different services innovate continuously to compete: image uploading and closed lists are old news on the other side of the Chinese Firewall.

Google's Circles and ability to mute specific subjects are both welcome innovations in social networks, and will no doubt come to Facebook very soon, just as Heello's lists will be implemented on Twitter in time. Competitors might not succeed, but they can push the incumbent to do something more interesting, and that's to be welcomed, even if the business appears (from the outside) to be ill-founded. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
NBN Co screws lid on FTTP coffin
Copper and HFC dominate in new corporate plan
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.