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Recent news on the business front of Twitter has been focused on monetisation. Twitter’s monetisation seems synonymous with Ubermedia. In a Wall Street Journal report, which further inflames “low-level war” between UberMedia and Twitter, sources say that the microblogging site has been engaged in “advanced talks” to buy the popular TweetDeck platform for US$50-million.
These rumours of “low-level war” between Twitter and Ubermedia — the owner of three of the biggest third party applications, UberSocial for BlackBerry, Echofon for iPhone and Twidroyd for mobiles running the Android operating system, are not without basis. As was most famously seen in February of this year, when Twitter shutdown all three clients for “Terms of Service violations”.
CNN recently reported of UberMedia possibly building its own microblogging service to rival Twitter. Tac Anderson, a Twitter critic, questions whether this move was in reply to Ubermedia’s reported development of a Twitter rival. This comes after the change in the relationship between the ecosystem and Twitter.
UberMedia which has grown to rival Twitter in the business of acquiring of third party applications seems to be on a collision course with the microblogging site.
Curiously it has been widely reported that UberMedia had made a US$30-million acquisition of TweetDeck. Twitter’s bid for TweetDeck leads to speculation that perhaps the collision between these two companies has come to a head, in a bidding war.
According to data compiled in March of this year by analytics service Sysomos, TweetDeck is referred to as the client of choice for Twitter “power users”, the platform has a 5.5% share of all tweets sent. In this sense, it’s clear why TweetDeck would make an attractive acquisition for either company.
Thanks to Promoted Tweets, which advertisers pay to have highlighted to a wider group of users to be placed in TweetDeck, Twitter’s preceding relationship with TweetDeck gives it an advantage over UberMedia. However UberMedia has shown itself to be voracious in the third party application acquisition business with its three biggest clients being acquisitions.
For both UberMedia and Twitter, beyond one-upping each other, there are good reasons why they would both want TweetDeck.
For Twitter the TweetDeck acquisition could be seen as desirable. Though the site states that 90% of Twitter users access Twitter through either its official apps or the web, however more commonly accepted figures suggest only 58% do. This leaves 42% which is a substantial portion of users that could possibly lie with TweetDeck.
UberMedia still has lingering fears from the February events of the Terms of Service violation incident. It currently holds a sizeable share of the non-official Twitter apps, adding TweetDeck’s share would strengthen its position– ensuring a definitive stake in the Twitter-sphere.
At the time of writing, both Ubermedia and Twitter representatives had refused to comment on the matter, however, in the following month, Twitter confirmed their acquisition of TweetDeck. Though not confirmed by either company, the sale was said by people close to the matter to be at a value of US$40million in cash and stocks.