A few weeks ago, we wrote about Twimailer, a third-party Twitter tool similar to Topify, that aims to make Twitter's email notifications more useful. Now, however, we read that Twimailer was quietly sold and acquired early last month, and that the current owner is already trying to sell the service. According to Topify's Arik Fraimovich and Ouriel Ohayon, the new owner approached Topify, but the company turned down the offer to acquire its competitor, not in the least because Twimailer's own Twitter account has been closed, and because a lot of users have been complaining about the service.

Sold for $2,500

Twimailer's original developer, Jon Weatley, put the site up for sale on the SitePoint Marketplace in early March, right after he received a number of very positive mentions from promintent Twitter users like Kevin Rose and Tim O'Reilly. The site was put up for sale exactly one day after our own positive review of the service, and it eventually sold for $2,500.

According to Topify, the current seller, who is based in Romania, claims that he is too busy to maintain the service. Other warning signs for Topify were that Twimailer's site features no terms of service (something to think about before you give your Twitter credentials and/or email address to a third party!), and that the site still features Twimailer's now deactivated Twitter account. Twimailer also never notified its users about the sale.

This whole affair does indeed seem rather shady and we think Topify's developers did the right thing when they decided not to buy Twimailer. Topify's developers couldn't help to note that Twimailer, because of its small size, wouldn't be much of an asset anyway.

Use Twimailer? Change Your Password

Twimailer didn't take users' Twitter credentials, but, as we pointed out in our review, users had to forward their direct messages and other email from Twitter to the service, which would include any password change notifications. Twimailer is currently down, and if you are paranoid about somebody hacking into your Twitter account, this might be a good time to change your password.

More and more services are now using Twitter's oAuth implementation, which should make using third-party applications a lot safer by default. For Twitter web apps that don't use oAuth yet, however, it is worth considering their terms of service and other factors to see if this is a reputable company. Even then, though, there are still some risks, as this example from Twimailer clearly shows.