UberTwitter, the popular Twitter client for mobile devices, was forced to change its brand to UberSocial today, after a long dispute with Twitter over trademark infringement, and other issues in violation of several provisions of Twitter’s terms of service. UberTwitter was not the first, nor the last Twitter client suspended by the popular microblogging service. In fact, every day, Twitter suspends hundreds of applications that are in violation of their policies, and UberMedia has been warned that failing to make the necesary changes would have such repercussions in the past:
We’ve had conversations with UberMedia, the developer of these applications, about policy violations since April 2010, when they first launched under the name TweetUp – a term commonly used by Twitter users and a trademark violation. We continue to be in contact with UberMedia and hope that they will bring the suspended applications into compliance with our policies soon. — Twitter said in a statement via ReadWriteWeb.
In addition to UberTwitter, Twitter also suspended UberMedia-owned Twidroyd and UberCurrent. Earlier today, UberMedia CEO Bill Gross confirmed the news with a tweet, and assured UberTwitter, Twidroyd and UberCurrent users that their apps will be back live as soon as possible:
Twitter has requested that we make some small changes to our clients, which we are doing right now, & we will be back live again asap.
Social media reactions followed promptly. The news that UberTwitter changed its brand name to comply with Twitter’s TOS spread all over the web in a matter of minutes, and currently, #ubertwitter is one of the top global trends on Twitter, Google Trends, and more. Many users were afraid that the two services were closed forever. Yet @UberMedia tries to calm the spirits, tweeting:
#UberTwitter & #Twidroyd users: We have made the changes Twitter requested. As soon as Twitter reactivates, you will be live again. Thx!
There’s a lesson for all marketers in this little story: take care when naming your products and services, or suffer the consequences. Brand naming is not a random proposition – usually you need to employ a naming expert to provide analysis of brand names, naming trends, branding strategies, internet branding, domain name acquisition and much more. What’s in a name? In the end, for UberTwitter, the difference between success and failure.
Note: UberTwitter is not to be confused with the brand Uber’s twitter.
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