Tweetie: The Start of Twitter’s M&A Activity?

When Twitter raised $100-million of venture capital last September, one of the things it sparked was a lively discussion about acquisitions, which led to speculation about who could be on the target list – Tweetdeck, TwitPic, Seesmic, et al.

Well, Twitter has made a deal but probably not what many people expected. Twitter has entered into an agreement with Atebits to acquire Tweetie, a leading iPhone Twitter client. In a press release, Twitter said Tweetie will be renamed Twitter for iPhone and be available for free (currently $2.99). Atebits’ Loren Brichter will join Twitter’s mobile team.

The Tweetie deal raises a few questions:

1. What’s next on Twitter’s shopping list? If Tweetie was acquired to get into the wireless market, doesn’t it make sense for Twitter to buy Tweetdeck or Seesmic to establish a strong foothold in the desktop/laptop market.

2. To what extent will Twitter want to compete against third-party developers? Will it move into a few strategic markets, or expand into a variety of markets where third-party developers are thriving such as analytics, photos and analytics?

More: GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram has a post looking at how Twitter investor Fred Wilson’s comments about the company’s future has sparked some animated discussion.

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