Twitter has agreed to purchase social networking application maker TweetDeck for between $40 and $50 million, TechCrunch reported, citing sources close to the situation. The transaction is expected to be announced in the next few days.
TweetDeck was in the news back in February when a variety of news sources reported that Bill Gross's UberMedia had all but acquired Twitter's most popular third party app. The highly-rumored deal was said to be in the $25 to $30 million range.
TechCrunch's Michael Arrington said that Twitter made an unsolicited counter offer as part of a defensive strategy. UberMedia has purchased several Twitter apps, including UberTwitter and EchoFon, leading many to speculate whether the Pasadena-based Web company is planning a rival platform.
“Adding TweetDeck to the UberMedia stable of products would give them too much leverage over Twitter…and so Twitter made a strong defensive bid to disrupt the deal,” Arrington wrote.
Twitter recently tightened its restrictions on existing third-party apps and said that it is no longer interested in allowing anyone to develop new Twitter clients.
Ryan Sarver, the head of platform and API at Twitter, noted in a March blog post that 90 percent of active users are embracing the company's official apps, but the remaining 10 percent seem to be confused by the “fractured landscape” that is offered by many third-party Twitter clients.
“For example, people get confused by websites or clients that display tweets in a way that doesn’t follow our design guidelines, or when services put their own verbs on tweets instead of the ones used on Twitter,” Sarver wrote.
The acquisition of TweetDeck would certainly help Twitter in its goal of providing a less disjointed user experience.
Twitter was able to step in and make a competing offer following the mid-April expiration of the exclusivity terms of UberMedia's bid, according to Reuters.
Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.Edited by Jennifer Russell
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