Twitter Buys TweetDeck to Complement Publishers, Marketers

Twitter acquired TweetDeck to cozy up to brands, publishers and marketers as it seeks to wrangle more ad dollars from those core groups.

Twitter May 25 confirmed it has acquired TweetDeck, which corrals the numerous, real-time Twitter feeds on the Web.

The reported-but-unconfirmed purchase price was $40 million, which would make TweetDeck the company's largest purchase to date.

Twitter is a fine source for real-time information, but the amount of information generated by millions of tweets can be unruly and frustrating.

TweetDeck, a software download for computers as well as Apple's iPhone and iPad, Google's Android devices and the Google Chrome browser, helps users manage the firehose of information generated by the microblog.

With TweetDeck, users may customize their Twitter use with columns, groups, saved searches and automatic updates, and tweet and share videos or links directly from TweetDeck.

TweetDeck is used by millions of consumers, but Twitter plans to turn its focus to brands, publishers and marketers who need to track all the real-time conversations about themselves and the competition. In that sense, it makes for a fine social media monitor.

"This acquisition is an important step forward for us," Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said in a blog post, adding that Twitter will "continue to invest in the TweetDeck that users know and love."

Costolo's last comment is key because it suggests the company will use TweetDeck software rather than simply shut it down in favor of its own tools, which was the thought among some bloggers and pundits.

This also suggests, as ReadWriteWeb noted, that Twitter will continue to support TweetDeck's enabling of updates from rival Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn and other social network sites.

Twitter said the software would remain available as a free separate download for now.

Twitter opened its ad products in April 2010 and the company has been churning a pretty penny from Promoted Tweets, Trends and Accounts. The company is expected to earn $150 million in promoted ads this year.

It's a fair bet Twitter will aim to serve similar ads via its TweetDeck product when it's integrated.