Popular Twitter client TweetDeck, previously reported to have been acquired by Ubermedia, is now said to be in talks with Twitter for an acquisition that would nearly double its former $30 million price tag.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that Twitter is “in advanced talks” to buy the client for around $50 million, according to “people familiar with the matter.”
Just days after the alleged acquisition of TweetDeck by Ubermedia, Twitter suspended both UberTwitter and Twidroyd over policy violations. A month later, Twitter director of platform Ryan Sarver advised developers to quit building clients, as this was an area that the company intended on moving into. The acquisition of TweetDeck would certainly be a move in that direction, as TweetDeck is a favorite among heavy Twitter users.
From a November, 2009 interview with founder Iain Dodsworth.
Tweetdeck’s Plans for Itself
“For me a true profiler would be akin to the holy grail – we would analyse who a person converses with, who RTs them the most, essentially all interactions. Then we would track activity metrics (how many tweets sent, replies) and then we would analyse language patterns (usage of certain words) to ascertain how they express themselves and pinpoint sentiment. Off the top of my head this could lead to elements of intention prediction and I’m steering TweetDeck to have this kind of very very basic Artificial Intelligence at its heart.
I’m currently researching intent predicition inside high frequency trading systems and it’s fascinating and could directly relate to TweetDeck and social media systems/services in general.”
The Wall Street Journal points to the close relationship between the two companies, noting the appearance of ads on TweetDeck as part of a revenue sharing agreement – something that Twitter has reserved for few clients.
What would a TweetDeck acquisition look like? When Twitter bought beloved mobile Twitter app Tweetie a year ago, the app quickly became the default Twitter app for iPhone. With TweetDeck – an Adobe Air desktop application – would Twitter suddenly offer a default desktop application? Or would it adopt technology from TweetDeck such as Deck.ly, the system that allows TweetDeck users to send messages with a length greater than 140 characters?
What does Twitter have to say about all this? “We don’t comment on rumors. We don’t provide off-the-record background on rumors. We don’t wink twice or release puffs of smoke abt rumors,” the company tweeted. TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth also did not respond.