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TellThem: MySpace Kills Another Startup

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tellthemlogo.pngMySpace has put the axe to yet another startup. Last night they made a call threatening legal action against freshly launched TellThem.mobi, a service that lets you message all your friends from your mobile phone.

TellThem’s site simply reads:

“On Wednesday August 29th, 2007, we got a call from MySpace threatning to take legal action if we didn’t take the website down. Apparently it violates their terms of service…. switch to Facebook.”

Switch to Facebook indeed. TellThem is only one in a long line of startups getting bullied by MySpace. Previously they killed DatingAnyone, SingleStatus, copied RealEditor, stalled all widgets, and played chicken with PhotoBucket.

I’m surprised this continues to happen when MySpace is trying to embrace developers through a developer platform. Overzealous legal stiff-arming is only contributing to the brain drain around growing MySpace and driving developers to greener pastures.

TellThem plans to move on to Bebo as well.

Thanks for the tip Marshall.

Update: MySpace’s complaint centered around TellThem serving as a proxy for logging into people’s MySpace accounts. The concern is that services like this could be phishing sites collecting credentials for malicious use. Jason Cox, of TellThem said collecting the credentials was necessary because there is no API for accessing the messaging functionality they use. This was not the case for Jason’s last MySpace related startup, BuddyWave.

The Director of Mobile operations has already emailed TellThem and asked them to develop for Facebook.

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