Twitter lowers boom on new celeb-tracking site

Just as JustSpotted is enjoying some media attention about its plan to use Twitter to locate and publish the whereabouts of stars, Twitter cancels the company's contract.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read

JustSpotted, a Web site that today began ballyhooing an upcoming service that would publish the real-time whereabouts of celebrities, can no longer crow about its cozy relationship with Twitter.

JustSpotted just saw its contract with Twitter canceled

It seems that Twitter was unaware of the relationship.

Just as JustSpotted managers were drumming up publicity, Twitter was canceling a licensing deal that would have given JustSpotted special access to Twitter posts, a Twitter representative said today.

Earlier on Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter published a story about the upcoming launch of JustSpotted, a company that wanted to sift through millions of Twitter posts to single out tweets from people who have sighted celebrities. To do this, JustSpotted licensed software tools from Twitter.

But a Twitter representative told CNET in an e-mail that although the microblogging service licensed tools to the start-up, it was unaware of plans to track stars.

"JustSpotted, then known as Scoopler, had previously licensed Twitter's 'firehose' data feed of all public tweets for its real-time search engine, Scoopler.com," the Twitter representative wrote. "JustSpotted.com is not the product we licensed, and we have terminated their agreement."

So what happened? In The Hollywood Reporter story, JustSpotted CEO AJ Asver suggested that Twitter was well aware of his start-up's business plans. The service appears to be one of those attempts to sate the public's endless desire for gossip about their favorite actors, sports stars, debutantes, and other notables.

"We've been working very closely with Twitter for two years," Asver told THR. "We're one of a handful of companies that has that sort of relationship with them."

Now that Twitter has canceled JustSpotted's contract, Asver isn't making that relationship out to be quite so chummy.

"The relationship we had with Twitter was for our real-time search product," Asver wrote in an e-mail to CNET this afternoon. "JustSpotted continues to aggregate updates from lots of sources, including Twitter, where we have always been using their publicly available APIs."

JustSpotted is scheduled to launch on Tuesday.