It's official: Twitter buys TweetDeck

Twitter scoops up popular third-party apps for its social network platform

It's official. Twitter last night finalized a deal to buy TweetDeck, ending weeks of speculation.

The two companies announced the acquisition Wednesday in separate blog posts. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

CNN.com reported Tuesday that Twitter was buying the maker of applications for the microblogging site for $40 million in cash and stock.

"This acquisition is an important step forward for us," wrote Twitter CEO Dick Costolo in a blog post. "TweetDeck provides brands, publishers, marketers and others with a powerful platform to track all the real-time conversations they care about. In order to support this important constituency, we will continue to invest in the TweetDeck that users know and love."

Iain Dodsworth, TweetDeck Founder and CEO, insinuated in his blog post that TweetDeck staff won't be let go because of the acquisition.

"We've grown from one team member and a single user, to a team of 15 and a user-base of millions," he wrote. "Change may well be inevitable, but we remain the same team, staying in London, with the same focus and products, and now with the support and resources to allow us to grow and take on even bigger challenges."

Today's news comes after weeks of speculation about potential future owners of TweetDeck.

Before reports that Twitter was vying to buy the company, there was considerable speculation that UberMedia, which offers several popular Twitter applications, was on track to buy TweetDeck.

An UberMedia effort to buy TweetDeck would at would fit with the company's increasing rivalry with Twitter.

Twitter and UberMedia clashed February when UberMedia's three major third-party mobile applications -- UberSocial, Twidroyd and UberCurrents -- were suspended from the popular microblogging site for allegedly violating its use policies.

Twitter reinstated access to the UberMedia apps a day later.

Last month, CNN.com reported that UberMedia is developing a microblogging service that would compete with Twitter.

For months, industry experts said UberMedia was looking to buy TweetDeck, whose tools compete directly with Twitter's Web and mobile clients. Having TweetDeck on board would have helped UberMedia further build a microblogging service -- one with TweetDeck features that many users have grown attached to.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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