Flap’s Links and Comments for April 18th on 15:09
These are my links for April 18th from 15:09 to 15:50:
- Why Twitter Would Be Smart to Buy Tweetdeck – According to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Twitter is in “advanced talks” to buy TweetDeck, one of the leading desktop applications for accessing the real-time social information network. If successful, the Journal said Twitter could acquire the U.K.-based application developer for as much as $50 million. Although the deal could obviously go off the rails at any point, buying Tweetdeck would be a smart move for Twitter to make on a number of levels.
As we’ve written a number of times, the information network — which has been going through some executive turmoil recently — has had a fairly tense relationship with third-party developers who use its API to create apps and services. It started with the acquisition of Tweetie last year, which triggered a debate over whether Twitter was deliberately crushing or dismantling its ecosystem. (Former CEO Evan Williams later admitted that the company “screwed up.”) Those kinds of concerns returned to the forefront for many over the past couple of months, as Twitter ratcheted down the terms for use of its API and took a number of other steps to enforce its vision.
One of those steps was a crackdown on UberMedia, a well-funded startup founded by veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur Bill Gross, which has had a tumultuous relationship with Twitter despite its relatively short lifespan — and which is rumored to be working on a competing Twitter-style information network. One of Gross’s run-ins with Twitter came last year: Just days after UberMedia announced a plan to roll out an advertising platform based around tweets, Twitter announced its own similar plans, and made it clear that it would not look kindly on other apps running their own ad programs. (Coincidentally or not, Tweetdeck is one of the few apps approved to run Twitter’s ads.)
Read it all.
- Is there a bidding war over TweetDeck? Will Twitter Buy It? – A report Monday in The Wall Street Journal claimed that Twitter is in "advanced talks" to acquire TweetDeck, a Twitter desktop client preferred by many of the social-media service's most active users, for about $50 million. "TweetDeck has emerged as a favorite of heavy users of Twitter, letting people track tweets about multiple topics at the same time," the story explained. "The program, which many people download and use on their desktop computers, also lets people write tweets longer than 140 characters, among other features."
But wait: Two months ago, TweetDeck was reported to have sold to UberMedia, a company that owns a portfolio of Twitter clients and related applications. Shortly thereafter, Twitter blocked UberMedia's applications, citing a variety of concerns including trademark violations and privacy issues, and then reinstated them several days later. And then earlier this month, a CNN report surfaced that claimed UberMedia was going so far as to construct a service designed to rival Twitter, suggesting that the bad blood between the two companies was even thicker than expected.
So if Twitter is attempting to acquire TweetDeck, it could be a reactionary counter-bid to UberMedia's offer. Or it might not.
Twitter has declined comment on the rumors, updating its official public relations Twitter account with: "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 (about) rumors."
Twitter should buy to preserve TweetDeck, if it is indeed for sale.