Twitter buys TweetDeck for US$40m

3 May 2011

Twitter has reportedly bought social media client TweetDeck in a deal valued at US$40m, right from under the nose of another social media client firm UberMedia, which was close to buying TweetDeck for US$30m.

Developer Ian Dodsworth set up TweetDeck in London in 2008 and 19pc of Twitter’s 200m worldwide user base use TweetDeck.

It is understood TweetDeck was bought via a combination of Twitter cash and stock.

The acquisition is the latest episode in a battle between Twitter and UberMedia, a company that makes popular Twitter-related products.

UberMedia makes popular apps, like UberSocial, Echofon and Twidroyd, that allow users to access their Twitter feeds.

However, in recent months, relations between Twitter and UberMedia have become strained. In February, Twitter shut out three of UberMedia’s apps because they violated Twitter company policies and UberMedia had to change the name of its popular UberTwitter app to UberSocial.

According to TechCrunch, the acquisition of London-headquartered TweetDeck was defensive as Twitter could not allow UberMedia to garner so much power.

Will UberMedia now launch a Twitter rival?

So what next for UberMedia? There has been talk of UberMedia setting up its own rival to Twitter.

UberMedia’s technology accounts for 11.5pc of tweets sent via Twitter daily and UberSocial is the third most popular way to send tweets after Twitter’s own website and iPhone app.

We reported last month that UberMedia is developing a social networking engine as a backup plan if its relationship with Twitter becomes untenable.

If that is the case, then the whole field of social networking is about to get even more interesting.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years