We earlier this week reported on Twitter's possible acquisition of TweetDeck, with developers saying that they were concerned about the client's long-term future, given Twitter's attempts to force out third-party clients. In blog posts today, Twitter and TweetDeck confirmed the purchase, but neither revealed the terms.
According to TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth, the purchase will enable TweetDeck to continue growing and its "unwavering focus on providing high-quality tools and services for the Twitter-centric power-user," catering for "the most active, influential and valuable users of Twitter and social media in general".
He said that while 'mainstream' users were catered for by Twitter's own clients, TweetDeck would now fill that role for "brands, influencers, the highly active and anyone that just needs 'more power'." On whether the company or client will have to fall into line with Twitter's supposed focus on consistent user experiences remains to be seen. Dodsworth merely said that change "may well be inevitable," and as Ben Marsh suggested in our earlier article, it seems unlikely a Twitter-owned client will retain support for rival networks.
While TweetDeck celebrates, though, this could be a dark day for other third-party clients. When Sysomos in March sampled 25 million tweets, it discovered TweetDeck accounted for over 13 per cent of third-party tweets, only behind Ubersocial, but ahead of the likes of Echofon.
Now TweetDeck is owned by Twitter and is therefore 'official', the service may push harder to erase other clients from the equation. Writer Ben Hammersley also said on Twitter that those pointing to the acquisition as a great example of British entrepreneurialism should think again: "Sigh. So, 2011's most-cited example of finest UK tech biz will be a no-added-value front-end to a US firm, bubble-priced and API-dependent."