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When Marketing, PR And Technology Collide: Why Is PeopleBrowsr Going After Twitter, Exactly?

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Twitter’s Response To PeopleBrowsr Lawsuit: ‘This Is Contracts 101′

So, this was bound to happen. A developer company that built itself on top of someone else’s data lost access to it. And it wants to sue.

I was sucked into the ploy at first, the whole “Klout but better for the people!” thing.

So now here we are, the Twitter firehose is being shut off, for reasons, and PeopleBrowsr has no schtick left. No…clout, if you will. What else could it possibly do? Try to file stupid lawsuits that hopefully rally the developer community that also feels betrayed by Twitter and its decision to ratchet back on its free-wheeling API days of the past.

I don’t fully agree with Twitter’s decision to do this, but it’s none of my business. If you’ve built your company on the back of someone else, then this shit can happen. Investors shouldn’t be putting their dollars into companies that rely on a network like Twitter so heavily. Just ask those who were bullish on Zynga for so long. Lessons are being learned quickly. This is “platform life.” Twitter says there was a contract. It’s over.

Sure, some companies have exited after building popular services that relied on Twitter data, but they were mostly enterprise services that helped businesses adopt the service for customer service, marketing and other things that weren’t possible with the basic Twittertoolkit. Without the Firehose, being a Salesforce add-on will no longer be a viable business option for PeopleBrowsr.

If I were to guess, this is how this script would go: Kred reaches out to all of its special “influencers” and asks them to make sure that their beloved service doesn’t get crushed by the big bad Twitter. If you’re an indie developer who has spent blood, sweat, and tears building something using Twitter, and your dreams have been shattered…I would genuinely like to hear about it.

However, this move is PR. This is marketing. Sadly, this is not about the technology or the users. It’s just an ugly car wreck. Move along — nothing to see here.

UPDATE: Sadly, people are already falling for this nonsense, and ironically, the Kred account is retweeting it:

[Photo credit: Flickr]