TweetDeck and the future of Twitter
More details have been emerging about Twitter's $40 million acquisition of TweetDeck, announced this week via the two companies' official blogs.
TweetDeck is one of the many websites that use Twitter's open API to allow users to interact with Twitter without using Twitter.com or any of the official Twitter apps.
From posting messages to mining data, these third parties have enriched the user experience and made a significant contribution to Twitter's meteoric rise in popularity.
TweetDeck allows users to post updates across their various social media profiles via a single platform, saving them from logging into Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and the like when they have something they want to share.
Founder Iain Dodsworth, a British programmer, will stay on board for the time being and Twitter has said that it will continue to invest in the service.
The deal follows repeated noises from Twitter about the need to provide a more "consistent user experience" as the number of third party developer apps continued to expand. Twitter is said to receive 13 billion API requests every day.
TweetDeck was one of the biggest players in this crowded ecosystem and its acquisition will worry smaller third party providers.
As Twitter looks for ways to leverage its user base and bring in more ad revenue, it wants more control over how people use and interact with its service.
"If there are too many ways to use Twitter that are inconsistent with one another, we risk diffusing the user experience," Twitter's Ryan Sarver said in a recent developer forum post. "In addition, a number of client applications have repeatedly violated Twitter’s Terms of Service."
Non-official Twitter apps account for 42 per cent of tweets, according to Sysomos. TweetDeck accounted for 13.1 per cent of tweets sent via unofficial apps, second only to Ubersocial (16.4 per cent).