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Twitter (officially) buys TweetDeck

Microblog app survives, at least for now

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After days of rumours, Twitter has announced that it is buying the popular feed organizer, TweetDeck, for US$40 million.

For now, the 15-person TweetDeck team will continue in its Old Street HQ in London, and will continue to develop the software that has been downloaded by 20 million users.

However, the acquisition has already given rise to speculation that Twitter could eventually cherry-pick TweetDeck’s most useful features, roll them into its own twitter.com interface, and kill off the standalone application.

(El Reg: this would be regrettable. Perhaps the most useful aspect of TweetDeck in the author’s opinion is that it is so much lighter and thinner than running Twitter through a browser interface.)

However, Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo says his company recognizes the value of TweetDeck to the “power user”. Continuing Twitter’s inevitable abandonment of person-to-person communications in favour of becoming yet another platform for corporate spam, Costolo said TweetDeck “provides brands, publishers, marketers and others with a powerful platform to track all the real-time conversations they care about”.

The deal was completed on Tuesday and acknowledged by TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth on the company’s blog on Wednesday May 25th.

The acquisition is perhaps the most powerful and expensive example of Twitter’s drive to impose ham- iron-fisted control over third party apps. ®

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