A Flipboard spokesperson confirmed to Mashable on Wednesday that McCue has indeed stepped down. McCue has been on Twitter’s board since December 2010, about five months after Flipboard first launched on the iPad.
AllThingsD‘s Kara Swisher reported in May that McCue had approached Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and co-founder Jack Dorsey about stepping down.
The reason? “McCue’s growing feeling that the companies are on a product collision course” meaning, she suggested, that Flipboard is positioned to becoming a more direct rival to Twitter, or a more obvious acquisition target for Twitter or its competitors.
Given Twitter’s moves over the past few weeks, it seems the former is more likely. The same week that Twitter and LinkedIn ended their partnership, Twitter ceased allowing Instagram users to find their Twitter contacts through its app.
To the @twitter team: it was amazing to be part of the board. You’re truly changing the world. Thanks @ev @jack @dick for the opportunity.
Mike McCue (@mmccue).
In a post on Twitter’s developer blog, Michael Sippey, a group product manager at Twitter, wrote that developers were encouraged to “build applications that run within Tweets,” but said that the company would be “more thoroughly [enforcing] our Developer Rules of the Road with partners, for example with branding,” and that in the coming weeks Twitter would “be introducing stricter guidelines around how the Twitter API is used.
” He repeated a statement made by Twitter platorm chief Ryan Sarver last year, warning developers against “build[ing] client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.”
All of this could point to an incoming conflict with Flipboard or, as TechCrunch‘s Colleen Taylor suggested, simply that McCue is “uncomfortable with these kinds of moves” or too busy with Flipboard.
Losing integration with Twitter would certainly diminish the Flipboard experience, which is designed to help users discover news shared through their social networks alongside topic-specific and RSS news feeds.
Without Twitter, some users would lose access to their number-one source for news.
Flipboard was unable to offer any further comment.