Yesterday was a day for Twitter competition. From the subject-based Subjot to the virtual clone Heello – the creation of Twitpic founder Noah Everett. Heello is pretty much the same sort of micro-blogging service as Twitter with little to distinguish it, right down to the color scheme. With photo sharing already enabled (what else would you expect from the Twitpic team?) and video sharing and check-ins coming soon, there really is nothing special about this new service other than the clean slate effect these services usually enjoy at their inception. But wait, there is one promised feature that is a little different from the current Twitter feature set and seems to leverage the desire to connect with others via locale and/or shared experience – Heello’s Channels. Channels will permit users to “group” around a subject or location in order to see “pings” (not “tweets”) pertaining to that shared interest. O.k., now that is a cool layer to the concept.
I think Heello might have a bit of an uphill battle – Twitter has had to labor long and hard to attract mainstream attention and it still struggles with how best to monetize its “free” service. Nonetheless, I have to tip my hat to the challenger – if for no other reason than the fact that competition makes for a healthy marketplace and a win for the users. Best of luck, Mr. Everett.