updated 05:50 pm EDT, Mon April 18, 2011
Twitter in talks for TweetDeck buyout
Sources claimed Monday that Twitter was close to buying a second major Twitter app developer, TweetDeck. The deal is reportedly in the "advanced" stages and worth $50 million. Tipsters for the WSJ didn't glean Twitter's plans, but it would likely roll key features into its apps for Android, iOS, and other platforms.
TweetDeck is chiefly located in the UK and may be a major acquisition target for that reason alone. Twitter already had been planning to open a UK office and had been hiring in London, but a takeover would give it an immediate injection of new developers.
The company is no stranger to acquiring Twitter app developers and last year bought Atebits. Its buyout eventually led to the official Twitter app for the iPad and iPhone. An official relationship already exists between Twitter and TweetDeck as the two have a revenue sharing ad deal that hasn't been extended to most other developers.
Twitter has been making strong, though non-mandatory, calls to developers to stop developing new Twitter clients that don't offer significantly new features. The official Twitter client has been positioned as the default app and supposedly making others obsoltete. The company may be seeing acquisitions as a way of consolidating the app field by rolling better features from others into a single app.