May 25, 2011 9:12 AM PDT

Twitter acquires popular client TweetDeck


Twitter has acquired desktop client TweetDeck, the companies have confirmed.

"I am extremely happy and proud to let you know that TweetDeck has been acquired by Twitter," TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth announced on his company's blog today. "We completed the deal on Tuesday and are now in the process of 'joining the flock.'"

Twitter's acquisition of TweetDeck, a favorite among Twitter users, isn't all that surprising. Since last month, reports have been swirling that the companies were in negotiations. And earlier this week, CNN reported that the social network had agreed to acquire TweetDeck, which provides a "personal browser" for staying in touch with updates from users on Twitter, as well as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, for $40 million in cash and stock.

Neither Twitter nor TweetDeck announced the terms of their deal.

TweetDeck is arguably one of the most useful tools available in the social-networking ecosystem. The platform provides simplified views of a respective user's social networks to keep them apprised of what's happening in their friends' lives. Even more importantly, it saves them time. With the help of TweetDeck, users can update their Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn profiles from the app. They can also check in to locations via Foursquare. A scheduling option lets users send out tweets at a desired time in the future.

TweetDeck currently offers free iPhone and Android apps to users. The company is also working on an iPad option.

Though Twitter didn't say in detail what it has planned for TweetDeck, the company did point out that it will use the service to help commercial users track conversations across the social network.

"TweetDeck provides brands, publishers, marketers and others with a powerful platform to track all the real-time conversations they care about," the social network wrote on its blog. "In order to support this important constituency, we will continue to invest in the TweetDeck that users know and love."

In an interview with All Things Digital's Peter Kafka, Dodsworth emphasized that TweetDeck will continue to exist as a standalone product. "From a technical standpoint we'll move towards become part of the platform. They won't be shutting it down, they are in fact investing further in its future," he said.

And Dodsworth expects TweetDeck to continue to support multiple social network platforms. "The reality of it is that TweetDeck usage has been heavily Twitter-based with the external services not heavily used but acting more as a value-add for our users. I can't see them going away anytime soon," he told All Things Digital.

Twitter's TweetDeck acquisition is the latest in a string of strategic purchases the company has made over the last several years.

In 2008, Twitter acquired Summize, a Twitter search engine that became the basis for the current Twitter Search. Last year, it acquired a small start-up called Cloudhopper to help it effectively handle the growth of SMS tweets around the world. Also last year, it acquired Atebits, which was operating a highly acclaimed, paid mobile-tweeting client Tweetie. That application was made free and is now the official Twitter app for mobile users.

This post was updated at 9:28 a.m. PT with more details and again at 10:08 a.m. PT with quotes from TweetDeck's CEO.

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by MarketMeSuite_CEO May 25, 2011 9:25 AM PDT
"Change may well be inevitable" - Sounds like that means the killing off of integrations.

It's funny, Twitter said "TweetDeck is a great example of a third-party developer that designed tools for the incredibly important audience of Twitter power-users and, in turn, created value for the network as a whole. As Iain's journey suggests, there is significant opportunity for developers who deliver insights that foster a more engaged Twitter user base."

Yet in a letter to all developers less than a month ago they said "don't make twitter clients." We love Twitter, we love developing for them, but that is slightly contradictory, no?

~Tammy, CEO @MarketMeSuite
Reply to this comment 2 people like this comment
by Mr. Dee May 25, 2011 11:01 AM PDT
How does Twitter make money?
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by ThatIsWhatSheSaid May 25, 2011 1:02 PM PDT
Only a day late on this one.
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by RompStar_420 May 25, 2011 1:35 PM PDT
don't twitter make money from ad related services, from promotions ?
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by darthstupid May 25, 2011 2:44 PM PDT
Well that just... sucks. Twitter has done nothing to better the clients they've already acquired. I expect more of the same.
Reply to this comment 1 person likes this comment
by NWLB May 25, 2011 4:04 PM PDT
They come across like the short-bus gang of social media. I use it, but in the end, I utterly loath their home website, hate their smartphone client, and still can't actually understand what the big deal about 140 character posts is. A glorified RSS you send from a phone, and can plug into bigger more "vital" social media.

I think the danger they might have started to sense was that as it currently stands, Twitter isn't actually so entrenched into peoples lives, that it couldn't be replaced if the flock of smartphone apps started working with a "rival" service. It could have been replaced or undermined much like MySpace. In the end, all Twitter amounts too is 140 character bits of text. How hard is that to replace? Technically speaking, it isn't. They are just a "channel" people can tune into. If Facebook, Apple, Google, Foursquare, Groupon, or who knows how many companies put their minds to it, they could suck the wind out of Twitter in a year.

So Twitter must do something. The idea that they could just stick with their horrible website and lousy phone client was up there with Palm insisting people really wanted black and white PDAs, not multi-media devices that had color, backlights, video, and that whole web thing. Buying Tweetdeck might help them, but alienate supporting developers, and still leave them a glorified RSS feed somebody else with more cachet supplants.
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by SHADuck May 25, 2011 5:08 PM PDT
any suggestions on getting around the great cn firewall
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Twitter acquires popular TweetDeck

Twitter says it will use the desktop service to help commercial users track conversations across the social network, in a deal reportedly valued at about $40 million.

About The Digital Home

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

Don writes product reviews for InformationWeek and is a regular contributor to Processor Magazine. You can visit his personal site at or if you would like to email Don with questions or comments, drop him a line at He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. Disclosure.

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