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Three Potential Twitter App Acquisition Targets for 2010
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.
One person on my panel believes that Twitter will use a Tweetdeck acquisition as a way to gain a strong foothold in London and the UK.
Acquisition #2 – Seesmic
Potential acquirer: Twitter or Microsoft
While Seesmic has changed from their original vision as a video sharing company, they have released a variety of popular Twitter clients for the desktop, mobile and the Web. Last month Seesmic launched a native Windows client which was demo’d on stage by CEO Loic LeMeur at Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference. The company has raised $12 million in funding but the money was raised during their “video” stage. I see Twitter as a potential acquirer because the company would have access to Loic and his connections in Europe (and a tight tie-in with the LeWeb conference). The Seesmic products would be merged with the Tweetdeck service to create one best-of-breed in-house service where the experience is the same whether you use Twitter on your desktop, mobile, Web, etc. I am not sure how the Facebook portion would be handled should Twitter acquire Seesmic.
One panel member disagreed with me and believes that Microsoft will acquire Seesmic. He notes that Seesmic and Microsoft seem to be showing a lot of love both ways lately and Microsoft needs to get into the “social app” market. Microsoft would gain access to Twitter and to Facebook and could potentially tie into Bing as well. I’m not sold on this strategy but do agree that Microsoft will need to get out the checkbook next year in the social space.
Acquisition #3 – Tweetmeme
Potential acquirer: Twitter
Twitter wants to be seen as a breaking-news organization and services like Tweetmeme offer a way to bubble popular content to the top. The company raised 650,000 euros in an angel round of funding. Compete shows a good growth pattern for the service over the past year. Tweetmeme has their “buttons” installed on tons of websites including this one. The button installation in itself will be worth a lot to Twitter. The acquisition will help the service become less tech-heavy and will be a way to expand the “trending topics” that Twitter currently uses as a way to showcase the hot terms used in tweet messages.
Services that didn’t make the list but could be 2010 targets include: CoTweet, oneforty and Bit.ly.
Update: Marshall notes that some changes are coming that could usher in new versions of the above apps.