How To Tell If Your Service Is A Social Media Copycat

Louis Gray isn’t a blogger known for writing the worst about services in Social Media. In fact, almost every review I’ve read from Louis is nothing but positive, though he always points out where services can improve. It’s something I’ve always admired Louis, particularly in this niche full of negativity and bashing.

However, Louis’ recent post about ReTweet versus Tweetmeme is a one of the worst I’ve ever seen from Louis and quite confusing to me. In Louis’ post, he highlights the following:

I’ve seen Digg and I’ve seen Digg clones. I’ve seen popular aggregators and their clones. I’ve seen social networks and their clones. And I recognize that sites that serve similar functions are yes, going to look similar. But once you move past the similar front page, the blatant stealing is jaw-dropping.

He goes on to bash ReTweet for their blatant rip-off of the navigation bar of their competitor’s site TweetMeme.


State of Social Media

1. Since when did anyone have a copyright on the ordering of titles and topics? If that’s the case, just about every blog in the world is a copy-cat depending upon their niche. The only difference comes in design, but that doesn’t vary too much when you only have 2-3 columns per blog laid out in near identical formats.

2. TweetMeme navigation bar is a rip-off of Digg in so many ways including the ampersand (&) between “World & Business”. Let’s make it a sue fest Louis’ shall we?

TweetMeme’s Navigation Bar

Diggs Navigation Bar (Can we say rip-off?)

So what
if they changed words around? That’s called paraphrasing and you would need to site the source for that if you were writing a paper. I see no citations to Digg on Tweetmeme’s site. I just see a Digg clone for Twitter.

3. Innovation is not in social media. I would expect Louis to have been aware of this at the very least being such an active member of the space. This entire space is full of copy-cats! If TweetMeme can sue ReTweet over a bunch of category orderings, then Digg can sue them all, so on and so forth.


Get Real

chat Let’s be real about the situation: there is no way that ReTweet can distance itself in any way, shape, form, or fashion from its competitor TweetMeme except through a) design and b) features. Their launch is everything that I expected it to be based on the idea that it’s built off of, which is the same idea Tweetmeme has been conjured from: aggregating the most popular stories from Twitter and Twitter only! They all looked towards Digg (imho), because it’s one of the biggest aggregator of them all.

Here’s another way of looking at it: the differences between every Twitter app for the iPhone, every social network, and every aggregator in the world of the web is based on one thing and one thing only: features! Design helps with separation, but there’s only so many ways you can go about designing something when you’re adding in features. Community is another factor that we won’t get into, but that helps too. In the end, services are encouraged to use what’s familiar and useful when designing, which prevents users from deal with headache of learning curves.

With that being said, to the ReTweet team, I hope to see improvements where Tweetmeme may be lacking feature wise. Your design is fine with me.

For an in-depth review of check out Things Aren’t Looking Good For via Black Web 2.0.

Corvida Raven

A natural pioneer at grasping the rapidly changing landscape of technology, Corvida Raven talks tech in plain English on