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Yesterday we took a look at 10 terms that are out for 2010. Today I’d like to share three Twitter apps that could be acquisition targets in 2010. If these acquisitions do take place, it would say a lot for the value of the “ecosystem”. I have no knowledge of any potential acquisitions past my own research and panel discussion with several friends who build social apps. Overall I see Twitter focused on acquiring two types of companies: 1. companies where they want the talent (see my 2010 predictions) and 2. companies that can help with expansion outside of the U.S.
Acquisition #1 – Tweetdeck
Potential acquirer: Twitter
Tweetdeck continues to remain a top Twitter desktop application and founder Iain Dodsworth is popular with developers within the Twitter app community. The company has raised just over $2 million in funding and the majority of the funding comes from NY-based Betaworks. Anything that has a Betaworks stamp has an increased multiplier on the odds of a Twitter acquisition. The acquisition of Tweetdeck would provide Twitter with an in-house strong desktop client which should help new users get past the poor UI of the current Twitter.com interface.
Anamitra from the Twitter team has just announced a “feature test” that will bring some new business features to Twitter. Anamitra notes, “The feature we are beta testing is called ‘Contributors’ – it enables users to engage in more authentic conversations with businesses by allowing those organizations to manage multiple contributors to their account. The feature appends the contributor’s username to the tweet byline, making the business to consumer communication more personal.”
Basically what this means is that if you have multiple people posting to one user account, each of their usernames will show up in the “by” line below the tweet message. The feature isn’t ready for prime-time apparently and only a small subset of users will receive the functionality today.
Anamitra concludes with, “this feature is one of several in development; some of them will be visible to regular users and some of them will not.” Which basically means, “full business accounts are coming soon.”
Last month I took a look at whether CoTweet and Yammer should be worried. Anamitra notes that today’s announcement will help services like CoTweet because the API will be enhanced.
Update: CoTweet has posted their thoughts on today’s announcement on their blog.
Some of the big tech news this past week included two announcements. First, Salesforce announced that they will be offering a “stream” product in 2010. Second, the Twitter COO finally publicly noted that advertising and paid accounts will be coming to Twitter soon.
I’ve had several discussions and nearly every time the names of two startups are brought up as potentially in trouble with last week’s announcements. CoTweet describes their service as, “team workflow for Twitter” and Yammer is basically an internal copy of Twitter. CoTweet could be in trouble because of Twitter and Yammer could be in trouble because of Salesforce. Let’s take a look at why…
We first covered CoTweet earlier this year when they presented at the NY Tech Meetup. After the demo, I mentioned to the founders that I was concerned that Twitter could copy their features and leave them high and dry. CoTweet is going to have to work even harder to stay ahead of Twitter in terms of service offerings and continue to add value since we know that Twitter will soon be offering accounts that will seem very similar. Earlier this month CoTweet announced paid plans starting at $1,500 a month. CoTweet is still in private beta and my guess is that they will slowly morph into a Twitter consultancy. I’m not sold on that model either as Twitter might be headed into the land of fad. My first suggestion would be a name change so that they can easily branch out to serve other services including Facebook, MySpace, etc.
Yammer is a different story in terms of competition. When Salesforce announced their plans to launch a corporate stream product next year named Chatter, many noted that Yammer was instantly in trouble. I’d suggest if anything Yammer will be in an even better position than before because so many reviews and commentary about Chatter will include links and notes about Yammer. Chatter will apparently be included free for some Salesforce users and $50/user for other users. Yammer comes in much lower at $3-5/user/month.
NY-based CoTweet provides an application that allows multiple people to access one Twitter account. The idea is that this works best with "brand" Twitter accounts not for individual users. They describe the service as "team workflow for Twitter".
Before their demo, I spoke with one of the founders and asked why I wouldn’t just give my password out to anyone who needs my account. The application is actually pretty slick – it tracks which person made the reply, offers the ability to forward tweets to certain people on the team to respond to, etc.
The service is currently in private beta but they expect to open next week.