Twitter Investigated by the Feds

Twitter is in the middle of a Federal Investigation looking into how they deal with companies building applications for their platform.

Twitter for a long time used third-parties to provide different services to their customers.  This included photo-sharing, mobile apps, ads and more.  It was not until recently that they sought to provide these services for themselves.  It is at this juncture that things began to get a little dodgy–ultimately leading to the curiosity of the Feds.

lawsuit court malletThe social networking site, though they would prefer not to be called this, acquired TweetDeck.  This service provided a central hub for its users.  It would help organized Twitter and create an easier environment to share between varying networks–Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  However, Twitter ran into a few problems when they indicated that TweetDeck was an “official” Twitter application.

Meanwhile the inventor of search ads, Bill Gross, started up a service called TweetUp that hoped to provide a network for ads.  He later started purchasing different Twitter apps within that project.  With funding from Accel, it appeared as though he was saving up money to eventually purchase TweetDeck.  Things began to get a little sketchy when his application (UberTwitter) was suspended by Twitter for a short period of time, preventing him from purchasing TweetDeck and allowing for Twitter to purchase the service first.  The manner in which those transactions took place is what is under Federal investigation.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Twitter have yet to comment on the situation.  More details will be provided throughout the length of their investigation.  It seems the two have built somewhat of a relationship.  It wasn’t that  long ago Twitter was faced with allegations regarding various privacy violations.  Now other companies will have to practice a little more caution in dealing with Twitter until the end of the investigation.       



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