It’s been on the cards for a while now, but it looks as if it has finally happened. According to a report by CNN put out late Monday, Twitter has acquired the popular third-party client TweetDeck for “more than $40 million in a mix of cash and stock.”
Citing “sources close to the deal,” CNN said that although no official announcement has yet been made by either party, “papers finalizing the deal were signed Monday.”
Twitter has so far kept quiet over the reports, saying on its official public relations Twitter account: “For all those who might be curious, we continue to not comment on rumors.”
Back in February, there was widespread talk of UberMedia (a company that owns a number of Twitter clients, including Echofon and Twidroyd) acquiring TweetDeck. Such a buyout would’ve meant that a hefty portion of traffic to Twitter’s site would’ve been going via UberMedia’s clients. With Twitter not wanting to lose control of its platform, reports began surfacing last month that it had stepped in and was in the “advanced talks” stage with TweetDeck, culminating in today’s report of its takeover of the UK-based company.
Owning a client like TweetDeck means Twitter now has direct access to its users, among the most active in the Twitter community, which could help with efforts to monetize the microblogging site at some point in the future. Despite its huge popularity, Twitter hasn’t yet found an effective way to actually make any money.
TweetDeck’s customizable columns feature, allowing users to manage multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as MySpace, LinkedIn and Foursquare accounts, has made it an extremely popular app among the twitterati. It was released in 2008 and is now believed to be by far the most widely used third-party Twitter client.