Just last month when I posted, "No More Tweetdeck, TwitPic, Twitter Apps Doing Their Own Shtick?" - it was becoming quite clear that Twitter wanted reestablish control of its own destiny. While Internet giants like Google and Facebook continue to grow with a lot of help from their friends (3rd party clients), Twitter halted APIs from integrating with their platform. This of course included Tweetdeck -which by most reports was one of the most successful.
Today, we find out that Twitter might have been a little rash in their decision-making, as the word on the street is that they are in throes of a potential acquisition of Tweetdeck, from UberMedia which acquired Tweetdeck back in February for $30 million.
Why you ask? Simple economics. Tweetdeck's share of Twitterville is not just any old 11 percent - it's the TOP 11 percent of users in total. Using the old "Power Diggers" analogy from years past, these are Twitter's "Power Twitterers." These are the folks that Twitter would like a direct line of communication with - to sell premium services to - the least of which is advertising.
While sources indicate the acquisition offer by Twitter to Tweetdeck is as high as $50 million, when one does the math - the microblogging platform would actually be purchasing this third party client for a song. According Mike Butcher with TechCrunch, "if Twitter is valued at $8 billion, then the top 11% of users would almost certainly be worth more than $50m." Butcher feels that the "reach, brand and B2B positioning of Tweetdeck" would put it closer to a $100 million valuation.
According Ben Parr at Mashable, the value could even be higher, as "Twitter simple doesn't want one company controlling more than 20%" of its ecosystem. Apparently Tweetdeck controls approximately 20 percent of the Twitter's combined tweet output.
So even though UberMedia's acquisition of $30 million has been made, according to Parr, "Twitter is willing to dish out $20 million more than UberMedia's initial offer to Tweetdeck." Apparently Tweetdeck's founder is still in the driver's seat in regards to the final decision - and to date, Iain Dodsworth hasn't confirmed or denied any rumors, as of this posting.
The fly in the ointment and one of reasons Twitter is changing its original position on 3rd party API clients relates to additional rumors that UberMedia was building a Twitter competitor - one which, if built - would potentially remove the 140-character limit restrictions on messaging. While UberMedia doesn't necessarily want to go toe-to-toe with Twitter, it's thought this move would be more of a back-up plan if and when apps were to be banned from Twitter's platform, all together.
So at the end of day, al lot of rumors? Perhaps, a lot to do about nothing. Or is there more? I'd like to hear from developers and Tweetdeck's mighty 11 percent. Please weigh in and let us know your thoughts, either pro or con acquisition?