Ubermedia to launch a Twitter rival?
Following on from my previous post about the Ubermedia vs. Twitter confrontation, news has emerged that Ubermedia is planning a service that would compete with Twitter. CNN has the scoop, although I prefer the Business Insider article, purely because it has an awesome photo (I’m actually quite jealous of that photo – it makes my ground squirrels seem quite boring by comparison) .
One curious aspect to all of this is that, although rumours first emerged that Ubermedia was in talks to acquire TweetDeck more than two months ago, there’s been no official confirmation. Twitter’s announcement that new client apps are unwelcome suggests that it won’t now be possible to launch a new Twitter client, which means that the existing clients have just become more valuable. TweetDeck may have other suitors. Combine that with the fact that it could be argued that Twitter’s targeting of Ubermedia has made them a less-attractive merger prospect (rumour has it that TweetDeck’s shareholders would have been paid at least partly in Ubermedia stock), and it wouldn’t surprise me if TweetDeck’s holding out for more money.
A month ago, Mashable reported that recent auctions of Twitter shares value the company at $7.7bn. If Ubermedia is the biggest threat to that valuation, I wonder how much it’s worth to Twitter to remove that threat, either by buying Ubermedia or, if that’s not an option, by snapping up the remaining third-party clients (like TweetDeck) to deny Ubermedia the opportunity to add their users to its own.