After TechCrunch reported back in February that Tweetdeck was all but sold to UberMedia, there has been much speculation on Twitter’s role as the network or the client. Tweetdeck is a power user’s twitter client, and so the purchase would have taken a good proportion of those that create original twitter content one step further away from Twitter itself – giving UberMedia a much stronger negotiating position and the possibility of creating a parasitic networks as we mentioned last week.
It seems that Twitter has seen the risk involved with so many of its users only accessing its network through a possible future competitor’s client software and has swooped in to buy Tweetdeck for a reported $40-50 million in cash and Twitter stock. It may be a defensive buy, but it has brought a large proportion of power users under Twitter directly and is an impressive exit for the UK based Tweetdeck and its investors which to date is yet to demonstrate a business model.
With the most popular mobile and desktop clients under its umbrella, the last bastion of independence in the twitter universe is the web-based power user space currently headed by Hootsuite. Whether Twitter will keep Tweetdeck’s Facebook and other social network integration is also a mystery at this point, as removing it may alienate power users and devalue the product, whilst keeping it helps their main competitors.