Home > Uncategorized > The Twitter Saga: The real reason behind Twitter’s attempt to purchase TweetDeck

The Twitter Saga: The real reason behind Twitter’s attempt to purchase TweetDeck

Rumors have surfaced the past few days about Twitter’s attempt to purchase third-party Twitter client TweetDeck for $50 million.This comes after a tumultuous year for Twitter which saw the website take multiple stands against third-party developers.

While Facebook has embraced third-party software developers, allowing and encouraging them to build applications for Facebook’s software platform, Twitter has not been so open to the idea of third-party clients.  Within the past year, they changed their API (application programming interface,) publically encouraged partners to stop building third-party Twitter clients, banned popular Twitter clients UberTwitter and Twidroyd for API violations, had a back-and-fourth with developer Ubermedia, and now is rumored to be attempting to acquire TweetDeck.

For those who do not know, TweetDeck is a highly customizable browser that can be used to manage multiple social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn.) However, most use TweetDeck only to manage their Twitter account.

Twitters attempt to purchase TweetDeck comes on the heels of Ubermedia’s attempt to purchase TweetDeck for $30 million. Ubermedia is the company behind popular third-party Twitter apps UberSocial (formerly UberTwitter,) Twidroyd, Echfon, and UberCurrent.  Remember that Twitter temporarily banned Ubermedia’s UberTwitter and Twidroyd last year? UberMedia clients currently account for 11% of all tweets sent.  Their acquisition of TweetDeck, used by 10% of Twitter users, would have resulted in a third-party company controlling over 20% of Twitter.

Twitter is protecting themselves from third-party developers by doing whatever necessary to keep all of the website’s applications, tools, and services internal. Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff said it perfectly: “buying TweetDeck would not be an act of expansion; it would be an investment in demolition.” It is simply a purchase to prevent someone else from acquiring TweetDeck, especially if that someone else would then control over 20% of Twitter.

If third-party Twitter clients continue to evolve it would become increasingly easier for third-party developers to take over the Twitter eco-system, or even to create their own site to directly compete with Twitter while having the reach to convert all Twitter users to their new site. Obviously, Twitter’s future depends upon maximizing the amount of eyes viewing the site through their homemade platform in order to maximize profits.  In my opinion, that may mean having to embrace third-party developers somehow, someway, as Facebook has.

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