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Twitter acquires Tweetdeck for $40 million

Ending months of speculation and rumour that a deal was in the works, Twitter has confirmed the acquisition of Tweetdeck.

Tweetdeck is a popular software application that allows users to access the Twitter network (as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace and Google Buzz).

According to a CNN report, the deal is worth more than $40 million, and the Tweetdeck team will be remaining in London.

“The past three years have been an epic journey, with many highs and lows, accompanied by the constant thrill of never really knowing what to expect next. We’ve grown from one team member and a single user, to a team of fifteen and a user-base of millions,” wrote Iain Dodsworth, founder of Tweetdeck, in a blog post.

Dodsworth points to the software’s popularity with ‘power-users’ as a reason for the success of Tweetdeck. He claims that these are the most active, influential and valuable users of Twitter and the reason the company was acquired.

Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum, believes the acquisition is a defensive move and highlights a number of concerns about Twitter’s strategy.

“The acquisition of TweetDeck is part of an ongoing move by Twitter to gain more control over its ecosystem, where growth and innovation are increasingly driven by third parties. At Twitter’s developer conference last year it announced that 75% of Twitter traffic is driven by third party applications and partners, TweetDeck included,” said Zoller.

Zoller believes that the micro-blogging company wants to take control of its ecosystem as part of an ongoing struggle to monetise its platform.

“if Twitter addresses this in a way that thwarts developers then it will alienate the community that has played a critical role in making Twitter the popular service it is today and building the ecosystem that supports it,” he adds.

“The concern for Twitter in this scenario is that the applications that are driving growth are largely outside of its control in terms of direct magnetisation. Twitter has been developing its own official applications or buying up popular rivals, particularly on the mobile front. It is also discouraging developers from producing new Twitter clients, ostensibly to ensure a consistent user experience although the unspoken message is that Twitter does not want developers to compete against it.”

The deal represents the second acquisition for Twitter, which snapped up iPhone app maker Tweetie in April of last year.

“This acquisition is an important step forward for us. TweetDeck provides brands, publishers, marketers and others with a powerful platform to track all the real-time conversations they care about. In order to support this important constituency, we will continue to invest in the TweetDeck that users know and love,” read a statement on the official Twitter blog.

 

Image credit: Tweetdeck official blog.

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