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News.me blames Twitter and withdraws iOS app from App Store to focus on Digg

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Social news curation app News.me is bowing out and you’ll no longer find it up in the App Store as of today, although existing users who have downloaded the app will receive continued support.

News.me announced today that Twitter is to blame for the decision. Twitter had been silently building out its own platform discovery features, which were recently introduced. “This move did not come as much of a surprise to us, but it put Twitter squarely in the category of ‘competitor’ to News.me,” News.me General Manager Jake Levine said in a statement. News.me was then faced with a dilemma after the new Twitter API restrictions were in place. The app was violating Twitter’s updated Display Requirements and sticking around would mean sinkng more resources into News.me to keep Twitter and the curation app’s users content. Instead the team chose to turn its focus elsewhere. Levine boiled it down the decision to one point: “We don’t want to invest time and energy into an application that competes with a platform on which it relies.”

You can still receive the latest news shared by your friends in News.me’s email digest, and all current users of the News.me app will be supported by the team. This just means that if you’ve wanted to download the app to your iOS device but never got around to it, you’re out of luck. The next best option is to sign up for News.me’s email digest, which will send your friends’ shared news straight to your inbox.

It’s unknown how long current user support will last. After all, the mark of a successful news reader app is the number of users it’s able to attract.

As the Betaworks-incubated startup winds down its attention on News.me, they’re shifting focus to the recently acquired and relaunched Digg, where they’ve already invested their efforts. Digg iself is a social news curation site in many respects so the team will continue working together. Levine explains that the News.me team will “take what we learned from News.me to build the Internet’s best social news applications.”

He posted some promising numbers about Digg’s relaunch that seem to suggest the site has a good chance of being resurrected from near death. According to Levine over one million people have visited the new Digg and only three months after Digg’s iPad and iPhone apps were released, its mobile app user numbers are nearing those of desktop app users. Levine then pointed out a chart from The Atlantic, indicating that Digg appears to send more referral traffic than StumbleUpon.

If you’re bummed about the stats of News.me, Digg is a viable substitute with the same team and technology behind it. Of course the bigger takeaway from the shuttering of News.me is that yet another Twitter app has had to shut down or switch tactics since the API restrictions were handed down.