Pownce Bounced: Twitter Competitor To Shut Doors

Twitter Pownce was purchased by Six Apart

Pownce was once hailed by the media and blogosphere as a tool to watch and, for a while, it seemed that the service might end up giving Twitter a run for its money. But for the unfortunate users who hitched their wagon to the wrong horse, the service will shut down, Leah Culver confirmed on the Pownce blog.

"We will be closing the service and Mike [Malone] and I, along with the Pownce technology, have joined Six Apart, the company behind such great blogging software as Movable Type, TypePad and Vox," Culver wrote. "We're bittersweet about shutting down the service but we believe we'll come back with something much better in 2009. We love the Pownce community and we will miss you all."

Microblogging sites like Twitter and Pownce are characterized by short messages—usually 140 characters—giving realtime updates to other users. The messages run the gamut from reporting on what someone had for breakfast to news of earthquakes in California or the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Twitter premiered a couple of years ago and recently has seen an exponential growth in users, despite the Fail Whale and other talking heads who claimed it would never work. Pownce, on the other hand, debuted to a media firestorm on June 27, 2007. Unfortunately, that initial coverage didn't generate enough buzz to keep the site active for more than 18 months.

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If there was a microwar of sorts raging between the two services, Twitter appears to be the clear winner. But for users of Pownce who have been updating their feed and blogging regularly, Culver notes that an export tool has been set up which will allow messages to be shifted to other blogging services.

"Since we'd like for you to have access to all your Pownce messages, we've added an export function. Visit pownce.com/settings/export/ to generate your export file," Culver wrote.

With Pownce shutting down and not even the Web star power of someone like Kevin Rose, the co-founder of Digg, able to keep the site afloat, Twitter's star seems to be on the rise. And with the preponderance of news over the past couple days about the expansion of social media—Power.com has been getting coverage and Facebook Connect is taking off—Twitter looks like it is beginning to approach the territory of other well-ensconced social media sites.