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.
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.