Feeds

TwitPic founder tries to pull rug from under Twitter

Revenge rug-tug bid against colossus probably doomed

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
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
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.