There is no doubt that Twitter has become a key service of he Internet, but I’m not sure I’ve seen any other site that felt the need to tell people how to capitalize words, or even how it should be worded.

In a very short blog post on Friday, Twitter announced that it had launched a new selection of logos, buttons and widgets for you to use on your sites.  Along with this new set of artwork, they also announced that you might to revisit the guidelines concerning their use, and that’s where things get a little odd. While there is no doubt that a company has every right to protect their trademarks and copyrights, it seems that Twitter may be going a step or two to far.

Twitter Bird 2010In the guidelines there are numerous points on how you can advertise for people to follow you on Twitter, but the stipulations are that you mus use the most current modifications to the logos, and that you may not alter them in any way unless it is due to color restrictions such as changing them to black & white. They also frown on you creating your own logos, which is going to come as a shock to about 99 percent of the blogs out there as they have all done something to make it fit in more with their overall design look.

Screenshots are of Tweets are frowned upon without permission of the person you are taking the image of. The rule does not apply to the media, but that’s a bit hard to imagine why they think you can’t take an image. If someone’s Tweets are protected, that’s one thing, but if it is an open account that anyone can see, it is already a public statement. To be honest, I’m not sure why anyone out of a media type would need to take a screenshot, but it is an odd proclamation none the less on something that is public.  The company told TechCrunch it is more to make sure no one’s Tweet shows up on a billboard or act as some sort of endorsement for a product, but it still seems a tad odd.

By far the oddest rule has to be that we have now been told that “Twitter” and “Tweet” should always be capitalized.  More than likely this has to do with the fact that Twitter has been trying unsuccessfully to trademark the word for a while now.  By making sure everyone writes it in the same way it will go a long way to helping the company’s case that the word is a recognized mark.  The funny thing is that a commenter on the TechCrunch post correctly pointed out that “Twitter” is not even capitalized in its own logo.  Oops?  Someone not get the memo?

And it’s also not just capatalizing “Tweet”, but now they want you to follow certain grammar rules along with it according to the guidelines

Do: Make sure that if mentioning “Tweet,” you include a direct reference to Twitter (for instance, “Tweet with Twitter”) or display the Twitter marks with the mention of “Tweet.”

Really? I have to now follow your rules on a common word that you don’t own the trademark on? I don’t think so.

As I said before, I appreciate a company controlling its trademarks, but on words you don’t own the mark on? Forget it.

What say you? Is Twitter going … a Tweet too far?