It’s not official yet, but TechCrunch had an insider tips claiming that Twitter has acquired TweetDeck for $40-$50 million. Earlier, UberMedia has shown similar interest in acquiring the popular Twitter client for a lower $25-$30 million, but the deal failed to close after Twitter intervened with a better offer.
The TweetDeck acquisition by Twitter is seen as a defensive move, to be sure that UberMedia is not snapping up more market share than they should. TweetDeck is reported to have 11% of total active Twitter users, and they are not just any users.
They are influential power users that have massive followers, responsible for some of the highest quality tweets. This will conclude the debate on whether or not Twitter will shut down TweetDeck after the deal is sealed with a no, logically.
Twitter wouldn’t spend $40-$50 million to bring home the top 11% of its user base, then make them go elsewhere again by closing down TweetDeck, potentially to other third-party Twitter client or even one of UberMedia’s. It doesn’t make sense.
It would be silly if Twitter is hoping for former TweetDeck users to get back to Twitter’s web interface after they have tasted TweetDeck’s column goodness.
But will Twitter leave TweetDeck as it is? I doubt that too. TweetDeck is not just another Twitter client. It supports several other popular social networks besides Twitter — namely Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google Buzz and Foursquare.
Also, TweetDeck has a homebrew “longer tweet” service, Deck.ly. The service allow TweetDeck users to tweet beyond the 140 characters limit imposed by Twitter, and it’s well-integrated across all TweetDeck clients. As a third-party client, Twitter seems to be cool with that. But now that TweetDeck is part of Twitter, will it still allow a feature that goes against its own philosophy, in its very own client?
We should have a better idea on TweetDeck’s roadmap after Twitter made the official announcement.