Twitter has made its acquisition of TweetDeck official, while trying to assure users that their beloved third-party client won’t go away.
TweetDeck is an excellent tool for Twitter power users, showing news feeds, replies and other customizable categories as a series of columns. It can also pull in news feeds and wall posts from Facebook. The free software is available for desktop computers, mobile phones and as a Chrome web app. A web-based version for all browsers is in development.
But with rumors of the acquisition floating around for weeks, several tech pundits — myself included — began to worry that Twitter had less-than-noble intentions for the TweetDeck software. There were rumors that a rival maker of third-party Twitter clients, Ubermedia, was looking to buy TweetDeck for itself, forcing Twitter to step in even as it cracks down on third-party clients. The acquisition seemed to be about maintaining control of users, rather than making TweetDeck as great as it can possibly be.
In announcing the acquisition today, Twitter and Tweetdeck tried to allay the concerns of power users. “In order to support this important constituency, we will continue to invest in the TweetDeck that users know and love,” Twitter CEO Dick Costolo wrote on the official Twitter blog.
TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth wrote that change “may well be inevitable,” but that his team was staying in London and would continue grow the software. Speaking to All Things Digital, Dodsworth said TweetDeck’s products “will stay the same and we’ll continue to develop them, with obviously a more coordinated approach since we’re all one company.” Tweetdeck will continue to be a standalone product, he said.
I imagine we’ll see some monetization efforts (read: advertising) creep into TweetDeck, as they have into Twitter’s main website. That’s understandable. But the best way Twitter can prove its commitment to TweetDeck is by continuing to develop new products and features. To start, let’s see that TweetDeck web app come to life, now that business is settled.