around the Twitterverse last week with the news that Twitter is in talks with TweetDeck to purchase the ridiculously popular third-party service for the low, low price of just $50 million.
(Note to self: invent something people love and then buy an island).
Considering UberMedia was rumored to be in the mix to buy TweetDeck for $30 million just a few weeks ago, that’s very interesting news.
My first reaction to this news was joy. Pure and overwhelming joy.
Well, I’m not really a fan of UberMedia. I like their apps, but I’m not a huge fan of the company in general.
That said, the opinion that this may not be the best of situations brewing for my all-time favorite Twitter app was quickly formed. Writing for PC Mag, Lance Ulanoff was less than happy about this:
“Twitter’s grown tired of all the third-party tools built on its API back; not because there’s anything inherently wrong with these tools, but because Twitter’s long-term strategy requires as many eyeballs as possible on its own home-grown Twitter services and tools.
“If the majority of Twitter users view their tweets through third-party tools that simply make calls to Twitter’s API’s, they’ll never see Twitter partner ads, promos, or Quickbars.
“Twitter loses control not only of the conversation, but the ability to monetize millions and millions of eyeballs and social activity.”
Obviously, that’s a HUGE reason that Twitter would want to kill TweetDeck, and other services like it.
I think there’s a better solution though, and I’m not nearly as pessimistic as Ulanoff is.
I can’t see Twitter killing off one of its most popular interaction tools, especially when a big percentage of those “power users” on Twitter prefer using TweetDeck to interact.
However, the assumption that people aren’t viewing Twitter through official Twitter apps (or the homepage) is a bit faulty, I think.
According to this article, 58% of tweets come from official Twitter apps; be that mobile or the homepage.
Many find that number stunningly low. I actually think it’s rather high.
Unofficial third-party apps are the most popular way to use Twitter for the majority of people in my network.
Rarely do I see the “from web” tag in many tweets in my feed.
So, if you’re Twitter, why on earth would you piss off a large, not to mention vocal, section of your users?
The answer? You wouldn’t.
Instead, why wouldn’t you just incorporate what you see working in revenue production methods in your apps with TweetDeck, and leave the service as is?
You bring another chunk of tweets under your umbrella, ensuring they stay out of UberMedia’s hands, and you are able to monetize those users.
Shutting TweetDeck down, after you’ve spent $50 million on it just doesn’t make any kind of good business sense. TweetDeck is just too popular among those who champion Twitter on a daily basis to shut it down.
The other thing to keep in mind is that it is in Twitter’s best interests to work with third-party developers as opposed to buy them out and then shut their services down.
It’s a bully tactic and it’s incredibly dumb.
Why release your API if you’re just going to buy out those services created using it and then shut them down?
What do you think? Will Twitter shut TweetDeck down if it buys it? What would you do if TweetDeck did get shut down?
[With minor differences, this post was originally published on KimberMedia.]