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Twitter reportedly buying TweetDeck

by Scott Bicheno on 3 May 2011, 11:49

Tags: Twitter

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Tech business blog TechCrunch has reported that TweetDeck - a popular third party application for managing social media feeds - has been acquired by Twitter for $40-50 million. It must be noted, however, that TechCrunch has announced the acquisition of TweetDeck previously, and the deal has yet to be officially confirmed.

To be fair to TechCrunch, it appears that the reason the previously reported acquisition never happened was a counter-bid by Twitter, which now looks close to completion. The company it out-bid was UberMedia, which had previously acquired the Twitter clients UberTwitter and EchoFon, and was apparently looking to establish a dominant position in the Twitter client market.

This, it seems, is something Twitter itself would rather didn't happen. As an earlier TechCrunch analysis piece explored, the acquisition of TweetDeck would have given UberMedia control of a large proportion of the most influential Twitter users. This would have given it a strong negotiating position from which to insist it could sell its own ads on these platforms, rather than Twitter's.

Sooner or later Twitter needs to monetise the traffic its service generates, and this is likely to be through advertising. This model is undermined if much of that traffic goes through third party apps that sell their own advertising. Of course Twitter can always deny access to the feed of any third party apps that don't play ball, but a company that owns the majority of them may be able to call its bluff by offering its users to a rival platform.

It's therefore thought that the acquisition of TweetDeck by Twitter is a defensive move, perhaps in the same way its acquisition of Tweetie was, designed to ensure no single other company has control over too large a proportion of its users. If this deal does happen, however, expect Twitter to promote it as ‘the official Twitter desktop/Android app'.


HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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I really love tweetdeck on my android phone and as a chrome app. Please don't mess it up twitter!
Yes twitter, please.
I use Tweetdeck on all my devices (iOS, Android, Mac OSx, Win) to have a single point to view all my related social network messages/updates.