Twitter Developers Start Rival Site

By Ed Silverstein March 25, 2011

When some of the developers working on Twitter became frustrated about the popular site changing its terms of service they did what most innovative, independent-minded developers would do: They started an alternative.

The new option is called “rStat.us,” ReadWriteWeb says.

It came about after Twitter started to discourage developers from starting new Twitter clients, media reports explain.

According to Business Insider, developer Steve Klabnik said that, “a week ago Friday Twitter changed their terms of service. This got a lot of people upset, including me. My friends and I started thinking about it, and the real problem is this: any software that's owned by one entity, corporate or not, is open to the possibility of being abused. So we decided to fix it.”

Their fix, which came in just 10 days, can be found at http://rstat.us/

The new service is compatible with Status.net, which is an open source offering with an enterprise focus, Business Insider reports. It is similar to Twitter.

But everyone who is at all familiar with social media knows that Twitter has grown enormously. As of Sept. 14, 2010, Twitter had 175 million registered users.  In addition, some 95 million tweets are written each day.

Business Insider reports that given Twitter’s size, it has “strong network effects, which makes it hard to imagine this project is viable.” But there are scenarios that could lead to a successful new platform. Business Insider speculates as follows:

·         Developers “love” the new platform more than Twitter and make applications that are considered of greater use than Twitter applications.

·         UberMedia, Bill Gross' “rollup of Twitter” applications, “which is in a low-level war with Twitter and which many people think might start a Twitter competitor, integrates it into his apps, through which about 20 percent of Twitter activity pass.”

 Still, the breakaway group shows the kind of “perils” that arise when “starting a platform and then attacking the developers on that platform,” Business Insider said.

ReadWriteWeb explains that rStat.us is an OStatus-based microblogging service that employs Ruby, Sinatra and MongoDB. It is compatible with Identi.ca and StatusNet microblogs, ReadWriteWeb says. It adds that the project is similar to StatusNet, which powers Identi.ca. rStat.us is written in Ruby instead of PHP, “which might attract more developers,” ReadWriteWeb says.

In other recent news about Twitter, TechZone360 reported that Apple recently launched a Twitter account called “@AppStore.” It is designed for the iOS and Mac App Store.


Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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