Report: Twitter acquires TweetDeck for over $40M
The long-simmering Twitter/TweetDeck acquisition is finally a done deal--citing sources close to the negotiations, CNNMoney reports Twitter agreed Monday to purchase the social networking management solutions provider for more than $40 million in cash and stock. Neither company has officially confirmed the agreement, with the Twitter Global PR feed tweeting "For all those who might be curious, we continue to not comment on rumors."
Onlookers have anticipated a Twitter/TweetDeck tie-up for weeks. According to a Wall Street Journal report published last month, Twitter targeted TweetDeck in an effort to simplify its microblogging services and broaden the appeal of its platform for both new and existing users TweetDeck effectively serves as a personalized browser spanning across a user's social networks and contacts, offering customization tools to simplify tweeting and sharing photos, videos and links.
The acquisition is central to a larger push to enhance Twitter's overall appeal by welcoming new users with tweets from individuals in their specific geographic region, in part to dispel the image that the platform serves as little more than a soapbox for celebrities to broadcast their opinions--analysts contend Twitter must attract more mainstream users if it wants to justify its multi-billion dollar valuation. In addition, the company is working to develop tools to create a narrower stream of the most relevant tweets.
Insiders say UberMedia, the startup behind applications like UberSocial, Echofon and Twidroyd, also sought to acquire TweetDeck--according to TechCrunch, UberMedia offered as much as $30 million in February, prompting Twitter to step in with an unsolicited counteroffer over concerns that an UberMedia/TweetDeck alliance would pose too much of a competitive threat. Twitter recently asserted that about 90 percent of users now access the microblogging service via the company's official applications, but social media analytics firm Sysomos reported in March that applications created by independent developers in fact account for 42 percent of tweets, more than four times the total claimed by Twitter.
"So, what's the disconnect between Twitter's 90 percent claim and our data analysis that shows Twitter only has 58 percent market share?" Sysomos asks. "Here's how the gap can be explained. Twitter's number focus on the total number of users while our analysis looked at total tweets. It means there may be many Twitter 'official' users who are not very active. On the other hand, more enthusiastic and power users are using non-official services such as TweetDeck, UberSocial and Seesmic. This is not much of a surprise given many of these applications have many more features than Twitter.com despite recent improvements."
UberMedia is reportedly building its own platform to compete with Twitter. Citing sources briefed on UberMedia's plans, CNN.com reported last month that the startup is pitching a microblogging service that promises to lure users by addressing the most common complaints dogging the Twitter platform--for example, eliminating the 140-character limits of Twitter posts and creating a more intuitive and accessible user experience.
- read this CNNMoney article
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