Recognizing the limits of public chats and DMs on Twitter, a Boston startup has introduced a technology that lets you start private Twitter chats.
Blether Labs, which is also based in Dunfermline, Scotland, introduced the beta version of !blether on Tuesday. To start a private group chat, you need only type “!b” at the beginning of your tweet along with the Twitter handles of the people you want to “blether,” Scottish slang for “chat.” Then a clickable URL appears.
The idea, says President David Gerzof Richard, is to corral people on Twitter with whom you are having a conversation to a more accommodating space. “Twitter’s a great platform for connecting with like-minded people, but if you ever get a group of people together, DM is kind of stuck at being just a singular conversation between two people,” he says, noting that public conversations can be confusing and hampered by Twitter’s 140-character limit.
Founder Kevin Bradshaw says !blether, which is based on the Zendit platform that received a $50,000 grant from Scottish Enterprise last year, will be financed by advertising at some point as well as a paid professional edition. At the moment, though, it’s free and ad-free.
Bradshaw, who founded online gaming platform i-Play and sold it in 2006, says there are some other companies taking “different approaches to the problem,” but none have !blether’s ease of use.
Like other developers using Twitter’s API, Blether Labs could also become an acquisition target for Twitter if it takes off. Bradshaw says that’s not necessarily the goal, but “I’d take [Twitter’s] call.” On the other hand, a successful third-party service that leverages Twitter’s API could also risk obsolescence if Twitter should offer its own product that performed the same task — as it has been criticized for doing.
Original article written by Todd Wasserman
Modified and re-posted by Jennifer Mount, Creatine Marketing
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