I wrote a post about the potential of Twitter to buy TweetDeck just two weeks ago. (To be fair, that first posted on my employer’s blog.)
In any case, a “what if” scenario has become a reality with an offer ranging between $40 and $50 million.
So what happens now?
A lot of doom and gloom if you believe the people over at TechCrunch (they also broke the story that a deal was done between TweetDeck and Twitter on Monday).
I don’t buy the doom and gloom declaring the end of TweetDeck.
If Twitter bought TweetDeck just to shut it down, then Twitter won’t be around this fall.
While Twitter is valued in the ballpark of $4 billion, much of its cash flow is in the form of investors.
If I’m an investor, and I see Twitter essentially take a pile of money and light it on fire, I tell Jack Dorsey thanks for the memories and take my money elsewhere.
That’s why TweetDeck isn’t going anywhere and won’t undergo any major overhauls.
TweetDeck is going to change somewhat, there’s no doubt about that.
Much like Twitter’s native mobile apps, you’ll begin seeing advertising in all forms of TweetDeck; or you’ll be able to purchase an ad-free version of it.
I do think the latter there is highly unlikely, though.
Given the reputation TweetDeck has of being the favorite service of high level influencers, the value of selling ads to be put in front of those folks is far more lucrative than a $5 or $10 one-time fee for the app …
… not to mention in front of the millions of people already using TweetDeck.
Twitter has absolutely nailed the culture of its service, however. I think we can all agree the actual UI of Twitter sucks.
The people at TweetDeck have created the best all-round service for posting to Twitter. So, what Twitter should do is wave good-bye to its own native apps (save for its website of course), re-brand TweetDeck as Twitter and push it to all of its users.
TechCrunch called this “a defensive move for Twitter,” and TC is absolutely right. Twitter could not afford to have TweetDeck be acquired by UberMedia.
That may not have been a deathblow for Twitter, but it would not have been the cause of an office party at karaoke night either.
This ensures Twitter controls its most valuable users, and can now monetize them. I don’t see Twitter wanting to drastically mess with TweetDeck.
Why risk upsetting a large and vocal segment of your user base?
I’m expecting ads on TweetDeck by sometime this summer, and that’s A-OK with me as long as they aren’t intrusive. And they won’t be, because the ads on Twitter’s own apps right now aren’t intrusive (even if the UI leaves something to be desired).
There is one thing I’m hoping they do add: analytics. I’d even pay a certain fee for access to those numbers, much like HootSuite users do.
What do you think? What will Twitter do with TweetDeck?
Image: takomabibelot via Flickr, CC 2.0
[…] This post originally appeared on Waxing Unlyrical on May 4th, 2011. […]
I’m e-blushing as we speak.
He absolutely has. First heard about the potential Tweetdeck purchase from Matt LaCasse.
@KenMueller Hmm. Maybe I’ll have to try it again, then.
@HowieSPM @Shonali @MattLaCasse I like the separate app part of TD as well as the scheduling; probably time for me to reorganize my searches and columns. It’s a good – and funny – point about it running on Air; just a power glutton, more than some creative suite apps. Nothings perfect..
@Shonali @3HatsComm I like the auto shorten on TD but they only have one page. But it is on Adobe Air so it floats.
@3HatsComm @Shonali I think that’s the magic key. Analytics. Twitter has to know that the people promoting their service the most are pr/marketing folks who NEED those analytics. Hope they take the best of TD and mesh it with what they see is popular in other 3rd party apps and push that puppy out.
@3HatsComm @Shonali You know you can schedule tweets from TweetDeck, right? What wins out for me (and I’m a TD guy) is that TD isn’t an in-browser tool. I hate that hoot suite can’t be a separate app.
@Shonali @MattLaCasse I do wish there were better analytic tools but like you said no app will have it all. Think maybe if Twitter does that.. Makes an app for both web and desktop, offers flexibility for scheduling, all the features for better efficiency, then that may be part of their thinking.
@Shonali only looked at hs. I have been fine with TD for lists and scheduling so not much need. IDK I don’t think I want web only option, just prefer desktop app. May need to look again and see what works best for me.
@Shonali it’s very similar to Tweetdeck, but I find it’s more stable and user friendly.
@KenMueller Shows how much I know, LOL. I used to love Twhirl, and I did try Seesmic Desktop but couldn’t get my head around it.
@Shonali not really. Twhirl was the first Twitter app I used and it WAS by Seesmic…but was a very different animal than Seesmic Desktop
@KenMueller Seesmic Desktop is what used to be Twhirl, right?
@HowieSPM No platform will give you everything! And HootSuite does too recognize Twitter lists.
@MattLaCasse One of the things I used to like about TD was the way they’d translate tweets. But HS has the advantage of scheduled tweets, as I mentioned to @3HatsComm above, and even though I don’t use that feature too much, when I do, it’s fab. Oh, and their metrics aren’t bad either.
@3HatsComm What do you perceive as the shortcomings of HootSuite as opposed to TweetDeck? A while back, I was a fervent TD user, and then I switched to HS, primarily because of the scheduled tweets option (though I don’t use it that often), and it’s tough for me to go back.
I speculated on some theories too, but like @KenMueller I don’t pretend to know the answers. You’re right Matt, the GUI is the weakest part of package. And @HowieSPM is right that there isn’t one solution right for everyone. I’m fine with TweetDeck though I am tempted to give HootSuite a look, but then I read of its shortcomings and know it’s not for me either. Interesting you’re against ad support Howie. I see them on iPhone apps, see them on YT vids.. and ignore them so I don’t know if they make anyone money other than the person selling that ad. A cap on tweets, an unlimited plan.. no idea what it looks like; if it’s scaled per links, etc. A paid for model.. that’s for business of pro users with enhanced back-end features and capabilities, but to charge the average person just ‘playing’ you lose those eyeballs; not sure if Twitter wants to risk that, as long as they can sell the ads. IDK… I think it’d be a huge mistake for Twitter to mothball TweetDeck, or otherwise infuriate its customers.. just know they need to do something. FWIW.
@HowieSPM Interesting thoughts Howie. I’ve never really heard complaining about the ads in Twitter’s apps, those have always been about the UI. Do you think there’s a chance Twitter itself is bought by a company like the ones you listed if it can’t begin to make money? I just feel like Twitter has a golden opportunity here to take one of, if not the, most popular 3rd party apps out there and begin making money off it. Only two ways to do that. Ads or charge for access, and as I said in the post, I think charging for access is a short term solution that ends up driving people away.
I’ll also agree that TD is nowhere near perfect. It’s a CPU usage hog, doesn’t have metrics and is prone to freezing up a ton on my phone. All of that said, when you take everything into account, I still think it’s the best 3rd party app out there now. I don’t like how HootSuite is browser based. That drives me insane. I’ve become rather dependent on the notifications in the upper righthand corner of my screen; I can easily monitor what’s going on. Good points though, and as I tell clients, the perfect Twitter app is the one you like the best.
My issue is no platform gives me everything. I use Hootsuite for managing multiple accounts. Tweet deck is horrible for this and Twitter you can’t. But I use Twitter mobile when sharing photos because i can see Click Numbers vs Ow.ly which I can’t. Tweetdeck and Twitter Auto Shortens. Hootsuite does not.I used to like the Tweet Deck flow until I followed so many accounts it was like a water fall. Twitter desktop I can’t upload photos too. Hootsuite does not recognize Twitter lists. ARGH!
I wish one platform did everything. Will be interesting to see what happens here. We will all miss Twitter if it closes but my guess it becomes like SMS Text and is embedded in devices. That was my recommendation to Fred Wilson one of the VC’s. This Ad support will fail just like it has failed 95% of the web. And they aren’t the web! They are a Platform an O/S for communicating. Charge us or let ATT, Verizon, IBM, Samsung whomever do something with it!! Or Die. But Ad Support they die. Just my opinion.
@KenMueller I don’t think other 3rd party apps will go away. The only reason Twitter wanted to buy TweetDeck is because of UberMedia. It only makes sense to rebrand your new acquisition and push it out as Twitter…no reason to keep it as TweetDeck since it is now a part of your company.
I would hate to see them push tweetdeck out as Twitter if it means other third party apps go away. I absolutely dislike Tweetdeck (I use Seesmic Desktop) and find it very unstable. Twitter certainly needs to do something, though I don’t pretend to know the answers.