After restructuring their corporate hierarchy earlier this year, Twitter executives are now attempting to broaden the appeal of the popular networking website through a number of key acquisitions. According to a preliminary report from The Wall Street Journal, Twitter is now looking to purchase TweetDeck, a widely-used cross-platform Twitter client, for a whopping $50 million.
For many long-time users, Twitter has developed ways to create a narrower stream of tweets rather than encouraging the chronological sifting through messages that many have come to know and love. TweetDeck has achieved critical success after releasing numerous versions of the client for virtually every device imaginable, building an intuitive and consistent architecture.
Though neither Twitter nor TweetDeck representatives were available to verify the possible arrangement, sources familiar with the matter have said that Twitter is taking yet another step toward controlling the application ecosystem on its platform.
The social messaging service recently suggested that developers cease making clients for the service to consolidate an “official” presence across all platforms. TweetDeck is one of the only significant remaining competitors to Twitter’s group of exclusive applications. Perhaps by purchasing the client, Twitter will finally monopolize its own development ecosystem.
TweetDeck has approximately fifteen full-time and contracted employees that are largely based in the United Kingdom. Historically, Twitter has acquired other industry-leading clients, notably Tweetie last year.
If Twitter were to absorb TweetDeck, it is relatively unclear how Twitter would use the service. Some sources have claimed that the acquisition is the idea of Jack Dorsey, one of the popular messaging service’s co-founders. After being pushed out by the company’s board nearly two-and-a-half years ago, Dorsey has returned as product chief and is set to lay out a vision for Twitter’s future.
Financially, Twitter has had a bit of difficulty in the past creating a business model that revolves around the popularity of the site. However, the new “Promoted Tweets” advertisement feature has added a significant amount of money to the company’s bottom line. Twitter is currently valued at $4 billion, though its worth has been disputed for some time.
Twitter is also exploring a model that will shift the focus of the networking site to the user’s closest friends by utilizing a technology known as EdgeRank. This strategy is largely being aided by Ashish Goel, a researcher and Stanford University professor.
What do you, Twitter users, believe? Would you like to see Twitter purchase TweetDeck? Would you rather them shift to a model akin to Facebook? Sound off in the comments below.