Heello is Twitter for Pretending

It’s easy to write off Heello as a Twitter clone. Created by the founder of Twitpic, the shameless knockoff looks and behaves like a stripped-down version of Twitter, down to the tweets pings, followers listeners, and retweets echos.

But it’s shaping up to be more than that. Creative fakesters are using the blank slate to turn Heello into the parallel-universe version of Twitter.

A world in which Heello was cofounded by Ev Williams (@ev), who acts as CEO and gives away free iPads to Heello users.

Where CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) reports all the news in ALL CAPS, including breaking news reports like “JUSTIN BIEBER” and “I JUST UNLOCKED THE ‘I’M ON A BOAT’ BADGE ON FOURSQUARE.”

A world where Mark Zuckerberg (@MarkZuckerberg) is a profane, sexist womanizer.

And where major web services (past and present) flirt and snark at each other, like @Tumblr, @Color, @4chan, and @Pownce.

Of course, Heello wouldn’t be complete without its own Social Media Experts. “Please Check Out My Blogpost ‘How To Drive Qualified Traffic To Your Blog Via Heello.'”

Heello is like a blank-slate Twitter with no moderation or verification. I doubt the Heello team wanted or expected this behavior, but they inadvertently created a perfect playground for parody and meta-commentary, like Uncyclopedia or Encyclopedia Dramatica‘s parallel world versions of Wikipedia.

It should be fun to see how they respond.

Update: Marshall Kirkpatrick, lead writer of ReadWriteWeb, comments, “They told me they were going to remove any of these that weren’t clearly satires. That’s a real shame and shows a lack of sense of humor.” The first casualty was @ev, which was deleted shortly after this post was published.

16 thoughts on “Heello is Twitter for Pretending

  1. This is almost the same plot line as the new Neal Stephenson book

    but instead of parody vs reality its the Earth Tone Collation vs The Forces of Brightness – taking a service and in this case a game – way off it’s intended course.

  2. this is pretty weeeird.

    Fun for fake account creators…and some of them are pretty genius — but why not just create a similarly named acct on Twitter and go at it…

    I guess I’m wondering why Helloo exists…. like, really…. just an experiment/blank slate twitter that the creators tried out but won’t go anywhere with?

  3. Hopefully, they’ll only pull the accounts that claim to be representing Heello. Cause otherwise why would I go there?

    Nice choices for your post. I guess the next phase will be people creating sites to track these accounts!

  4. They told me they were going to remove any of these that weren’t clearly satires. That’s a real shame and shows a lack of sense of humor.

  5. Ah that’s annoying I hope they don’t delete the hogwarts crew @harryjamespotter @hermionegranger @ronweasley afterall I am the chosen one AND I beat @lordvoldemort in a battle to the death surely that’s a good reason to keep my account

  6. That @SocialMediaExpert account made me laugh until I cried. My girlfriend (who doesn’t even Twitter) asked what was so funny. It turned out to be very difficult to explain to her.

  7. I find heello refreshing compared to Twitter. Maybe it’s the lack of newsfeeds and automated junk – I have a feeling people are going to use this thing!

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