Twitter absorbs Tweetdeck in $40m defensive move

Social networking heavyweight Twitter has confirmed its acquisition of TweetDeck, a dashboard application for monitoring tweets and topics on the site.

The price paid for the application was $40m plus, according to Ovum, and Twitter said it will continue to invest in the tool, which it is pitching as a way for brands, publishers, marketers and others with a platform to track real-time conversations.

According to Ovum analyst Eden Zoller, the deal, announced Thursday, is a defensive move by Twitter and highlights a number of concerns about Twitter’s strategy.

“The acquisition of TweetDeck is part of an ongoing move by Twitter to gain more control over its ecosystem, where growth and innovation are increasingly driven by third parties. At Twitter’s developer conference last year it announced that 75 per cent of Twitter traffic is driven by third party applications and partners, TweetDeck included,” Zoller said.

The concern for Twitter in this scenario is that the applications driving growth are largely outside of its control in terms of direct monetization. According to Zoller, it is also discouraging developers from producing new Twitter clients, ostensibly to ensure a consistent user experience — although the unspoken message is that Twitter does not want developers to compete against it.

Twitter has been hitting the headlines this week for other reasons too. The firm has said that it may be forced to hand over information for thousands of users invovled in the superinjunction scandal, where the Twitter website was used to breach privacy injunctions in place for a number of celebrities including premiership footballer Ryan Giggs.

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