It has been rumored that Twitter plans to snatch up TweetDeck, one of the most popular third-party Twitter clients. Today, however, a source from TechCrunch has further revealed that the TweetDeck acquisition is closing or has closed with a purchase price between $40 million to $50 million. The source says that the deal should be officially announced within the next few days.
Twitter has been getting aggressive as of late in its attempt to monetize its wildly popular service. The company was known for working well with its developer community in supporting third-party clients and various mash-ups to improve the Twitter ecosystem. But starting in February, the ban of Twidroyd and UberTwitter, clients developed by Ubermedia, marked the beginning of a new relationship between Twitter and developers. The development of Twitter's own client and its attempts to monetize it, meant that third-party clients became more and more like competitors.
The purchase of TweetDeck, could mean the end of TweetDeck. The app was originally rumored to be purchased by UberMedia, which now appears to be enemy number one in the eyes of Twitter. The purchase was rumored to be set at $25 million to $30 million until Twitter swooped in with an unsolicited offer as what most consider to be a defensive move against UberMedia.
There's no knowing whether Twitter would continue developing TweetDeck or roll its features into Twitter's official client. TweetDeck, however, has a huge following of hard-core Twitter users, and has more functionality than just tracking tweets. The app also tracks updates from other major social platforms such as Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Google Buzz all on one dashboard.
These features make the app more complicated and less friendly to the newbie user, which is a demographic that Twitter seems to be increasingly catering to. Would this then mean that many of those features will be stripped away once Twitter has its hands on TweetDeck? It will be interesting to see how this develops.