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Twitter shuts down 'crowdspeaking' app, Thunderclap, one day after launch

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Thunderclap is a new app that lets groups organize to send mass message on Twitter. It debuted yesterday, but was shut down this afternoon.


Yesterday at noon Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibi sent the inaugural Thunderclap, when he and 1,921 other people Tweeted simultaneously at a pair of U.S. senators. Taibi used an app, Thunderclap, built by a small team in New York. The service lets Twitter users break above the din by organizing for a mass messaging, a wave of tweets that hits at the same time.

Twitter suspended the startup's OAuth token today, after it sent its second "thunderclap" to Congress. Twitter told the Thunderclap team it was violating the site's terms of service by "sending multiple @ mentions and automating sending tweets."

Thunderclap employs a tipping point model, where one user sets a goal for "crowdspeaking" (like crowdfunding). If enough users sign up to send that tweet, the Thunderclap has reached its goal and the app releases the message into the Twitterverse.

There are numerous apps that allow users and companies to automate the sending of tweets, so it seems likely Thunderclap has been shut down because it looked a bit too much like spam and didn't go through the proper channels at Twitter HQ. We have reached out to Twitter for comment and will update with any response.