First reported on Friday by Techcrunch, the deal is pegged at around $30 million, making it the largest deal that Ubermedia has done in the Twitter ecosystem. Indeed, TweetDeck is the most popular Twitter client outside of Twitter's own applications. TweetDeck will join the Twitter apps now under the Ubermedia umbrella, including UberTwitter, Twidroid, and EchoFon.
Although Ubermedia has been gobbling up pieces (important pieces) of the Twitter ecosystem, it's not clear how the company plans to monetize these efforts, although it's not hard to imagine that ads in our clients alongside ads in our Twitter stream are one direction.
For reference, last fall, Twitter published an update to its "evolving ecosystem," noting the popularity of the various apps in it. And other than Twitter's own apps (and the photo-sharing service Twitpic), TweetDeck is the most popular.
Ubermedia's Influence in the Evolving Twitter Ecosystem
So with this acquisition, three of the five top third-party apps are now owned by Ubermedia. As Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur notes, this means that roughly 20% of the tweets sent daily are sent via Ubermedia properties.
Le Meur says he wonders how Twitter feels about this control. But for his part, Le Meur seems positive about the acquisition news, even though Seesmic has been a competitor in the Twitter third-party app space. "There is room for both," writes LeMeur. "This is why it's good news for us, different focus, less competition. I might be wrong, but that's how I feel." Le Meur says that Seesmic's focus will be elsewhere, or rather the focus will be hybrid - on Twitter, on social networking, and on enterprise adoption.
Whither Third Party Developers?
Many third-party developers have had to "focus elsewhere," for a number of reasons: Twitter's own acquisition of third-party clients and its announcements about changing terms of service. Add to that, recent API changes - described by ReadWriteWeb's Mike Melanson in a recent article - and one has to wonder if the once great promise of opportunities for third-party developers in the Twitter ecosystem now seem far diminished as that ecosystem becomes consolidated in the hands of fewer and fewer players.