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Official: Twitter acquires TweetDeck

Snubbing UberMedia, TweetDeck sells to Twitter for as much as $50 million

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
May 25, 2011 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1ad2

It’s over. The drama is finally over.

As was reported again and again and again over the past two months, Twitter has acquired TweetDeck, one of the most popular third-party Twitter applications for desktop, Web and mobile. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This acquisition is an important step forward for us,” writes Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. “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.”

Back in February, the media was reporting that UberMedia’s $30 million acquisition of TweetDeck was all but final; we just needed official confirmation. That confirmation obviously never came.

Then all of a sudden there were rumors that Twitter was in advanced talks to acquire the company for $40 to $50 million. Those rumors echoed over the course of two months until today, when they have finally been confirmed by both TweetDeck and Twitter. (Confirmed without no sale price disclosed, of course.)

"Change may well be inevitable," writes TweetDeck creator Iain Dodsworth, "but we remain the same team, staying in London, with the same focus and products, and now with the support and resources to allow us to grow and take on even bigger challenges.

Despite how open Twitter wants to be about the acquisition, we won’t see many of our questions answered until time passes. For example, TweetDeck offers clients for the desktop, iPhone, iPad, Android and Chrome--platforms for which Twitter already has its own official clients. Will any of these TweetDeck apps be phased out in order to push more users to those official clients?

Even more interesting is the fact that TweetDeck isn’t just a platform for tweeting. The application supports sharing across multiple social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and more.

When I asked Twitter whether TweetDeck would continue to support other social networks, a spokesperson only repeated Costolo’s ambiguous statement above as an answer:

“We will continue to invest in the TweetDeck that users know and love.”

Not a yes, not a no.

Silly enough, Twitter is directing press and users to tweet any questions about the acquisition at the company’s public relations account, @twitterglobalpr. So far, however, the account is sticking to the exact same canned answer above. (Isn’t the point of social media to be more transparent. If you don’t have anything substantial or meaningful to say, maybe you shouldn’t say anything at all.)

Either way, while users may not know what they’re in for, the investors behind TweetDeck have clearly won big. Dodsworth gives a special shoutout to Betaworks, TAG, SV Angel and PROfounders, who helped the startup raise just near $4 million over two rounds. If Twitter paid $50 million for TweetDeck, as has been reported, that’s a huge exit for both the TweetDeck team and its backers.


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