TweetMeme will shut down within 24 hours

Original creator of the retweet button will shift focus to DataSift

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 26, 2012
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Whenever we see a title about a Twitter third-party app shutting down, I think it will be natural for everyone to assume that it is a result of Twitter’s new API restrictions on third-party apps. But that is not always going to be the case; sometimes apps just outlive their usefulness. And that seems to be what happened to TweetMeme.

TweetMeme, the makers of the original "Retweet" button, announced Wednesday that it will be shutting down within the next 24 hours, with the TweetMeme button being replaced by the official Twitter button.

What happened to TweetMeme was that it originally filled a service that Twitter didn't have by showing how many times a tweet had been reposted, or “retweeted.” A pretty good idea, and one that worked extremely well, gaining the service 10 million monthly users in its first nine months of existence. At its peak, TweetMeme was installed on over 500,000 websites, and served 1.5 billion daily retweet buttons.

Retweeting was such a good idea, in fact, that Twitter eventually created their own official button in August 2010. Despite Twitter saying at the time that were not interested in destroying TweetMeme, and that in fact they were “pleased to be working closely with the good folks at TweetMeme,” who would be "pointing to the Twitter Tweet Button," TweetMeme was stilled edged out by its own success.

TweetMeme was originally created in 2008, and it raised two rounds of angel investing. The first round consisted of €150,000, and the second €500,000, which altogether equated to more than $1 million. 

But given Twitter's move, TweetMeme began to focus on its other function: curating and ranking links shared on Twitter based on their popularity. 

That function eventually became DataSift, which was founded in November 2010, only a few months after the launch of the Twitter button, as a data organization service to help companies interested in using information from Twitter to better their brand and consumer awareness. Essentially, they analyze the Twitter firehose and help companies understand what consumers are saying about their brand. 

DataSift has gathered together more than $14 million in funding, most recently raising $7.2 million from GRP Partners and IA Ventures.The service currently has 10,000 users, offices in four cities.

“TweetMeme was the first website to show the true power of curating news from Twitter. For millions of users, it was a homepage that showed a truly democratized view of what was popular on the Internet,” Nick Halstead CEO and founder of TweetMeme, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

“We will be sad to see TweetMeme go, but it is no longer competitive or cost effective for us to continue to keep the infrastructure going behind it.”

The TweetMeme website will be fully shut down on October 1.

TweetMeme was not available for comment. 

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