ReTweet.com, a TweetMeme challenger put together by Mesiab Labs (the startup behind notorious Twitter spam software program Hummingbird), has made its online debut after teasing the Twitterati with an announcement and landing page a couple of weeks ago.
You may remember that immediately after ReTweet.com coming out of the woodworks, TweetMeme was already threatening Mesiab Labs with a lawsuit over the latter’s flat out copying of its retweet button code and website design. Both startups aim to become the king of retweets, an increasingly popular activity on the increasingly popular Twitter service, and they’re clearly not competing on friendly terms.
(In the interest of full disclosure: we use TweetMeme’s retweet button here on the TechCrunch network)
Since ReTweet.com hadn’t yet launched when the online arguments between both startups began to heat up, it was hard to argue how similar both websites would turn out to be, although the screenshots provided suggested that they’d look much alike. And now that ReTweet.com is finally live, the similarity with TweetMeme is indeed striking:
Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with inspiring one’s website design on another service, but considering the fact there are only two noteworthy players in this game and the heat had already been turned on by other events, it may have been wiser for Mesiab Labs to at least try and make it look different enough. But no, the lay-out, wording and color scheme of ReTweet.com is clearly a blatant rip-off, and I’m sure they intended it that way too.
I’m reluctant to take a side here, but having tracked Mesiab Labs and their despicable Hummingbird product for a number of months already (more on that later), I’m leaning towards sympathizing with TweetMeme here. They could use some competition for sure, but I’d rather see both companies compete based on merit and trying new things rather than fighting with words and fencing with lawsuit threats.
And to reiterate Erick’s earlier point: Twitter could well end up trademarking the term ‘retweet’ just like they did with the word ‘tweet’.
Update: also, @Retweet appears to be a suspended account.
To be continued, I’m sure.