Automattic buys Lean Domain Search and acquihires Matt Mazur

matt mazurAutomattic, the company behind WordPress, recently bought Lean Domain Search to add to the WordPress.com blogging platform.  The news was announced via the Lean Domain Search blog a couple days ago by Matt Mazur, who started and built the domain name generator.

You might remember that last month I wrote that Lean Domain Search shuttered the Brandable Domain Generator and Domain Name Trends offerings.  In addition Matt Mazur moved the website from a freemium model to being completely free.

This news makes sense as I assume Automattic mainly wants Matt to focus on integrating Lean Domain Search with their products and helping improve the WordPress blog platform.  The acquisition is being pegged as an “acquihire” which refers to when tech firms buy companies not necessarily for the products but the team that built it.  Typically in an acquihire the larger tech company will shutdown the original product and integrate it with whatever offering they want or need.

While a few of Lean Domain Search's useful offeings have been shutdown as far as I can tell Automattic has no plans to shutter Lean Domain Search and the plan is to integrate the platform with WordPress.com.  Currently users of WordPress.com can buy a domain name for $13 a and can map to their subdomain blog on WordPress to their domain.  There is no domain generating tool on the free blogging platform but that will obviously change in the next few months.

It's not clear whether Automattic bought Lightstone Software along with Preceden, a timeline maker that is another one of Matt's offerings. As far as I can tell there are no plans to shutter Preceden.  There is no word on whether Precden will be integrated with Worpdress or what Matt has planned for the timeline maker.  (I sent Matt an email to clarify but have not heard back.)

In my opinion this was a smart move for Automattic and Worpress as finding a good domain name can prevent a lot of people from starting a blog or website.  (I know since I get emails about it all the time.)  Automattic can get the benefit of people using Lean Domain Search on Worpdress.com and collect affiliate revenue when people use the site.  Since WordPress is 10 years old now they seem to be making more decisions like a tech giant.  It will be interesting to see what other acquisitions Automattic will make in the future.

While the news is impressive for a service that was built by a single guy, unfortunately impressing Matt Mazur's family with news that you are making news proved to be challenging.

Congrats to Matt and I am sure he will be a valuable asset to Automattic and the WordPress team.

Twitter will stop support of TweetDeck Mobile Apps

tweetdeckA few days ago on TweetDeck's official blog on Posterous, Twitter surprised the Social Media universe or more specifically the “Twitterverse.”  Twitter announced that they will be ending support for TweetDeck mobile apps for Android smartphones and the iPhone.  Also Twitter will not be supporting the desktop version of the Twitter application anymore known as TweetDeck AIR (it runs on the Adobe AIR platform.)

Here is what Twitter said on the Posterous blog post that was posted on March 4th, 2013.

TweetDeck is the most powerful Twitter tool for tracking real-time conversations. Its flexibility and customizable layout let you keep up with what’s happening on Twitter, across multiple topics and accounts, in real time. To continue to offer a great product that addresses your unique needs, we’re going to focus our development efforts on our modern, web-based versions of TweetDeck. To that end, we are discontinuing support for our older apps: TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone. They will be removed from their respective app stores in early May and will stop functioning shortly thereafter. We’ll also discontinue support for our Facebook integration.

TweetDeck mobile apps makes it easy and convenient for people with multiple Twitter accounts to control them all from the same application   I have been using TweetDeck on my Android smartphone to handle my personal Twitter account @AdamYamada and the one for Cody and Sierra, my two singing dogs, @DogsSing.  Even a couple of other Twitter accounts are on there and I used it often to send Tweets to Facebook pages or just update Facebook pages.

I am bit annoyed that Twitter has decided to pull the plug on TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone.  It has over 1 million downloads which is a pretty sizable user-base in my opinion.  The reason Twitter probably decided to pull the plug on TweetDeck for smartphones is that the majority of people are using Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android apps instead.  Unlike me they do not have a need have multiple accounts they need or want to control from the same app.

I am also annoyed Twitter will not support Facebook integration but I understand since that is technically their biggest competitor in the Social Media world.  I guess Twitter has made a calculated move to try to push more people to stay on their platform.

Ending support for the desktop version does make sense though.  Over the past couple of months I have migrated to using the TweetDeck Chrome app which is convenient, fast, and easy to use.  I bet from a developer standpoint it is easier to run TweetDeck in the cloud.  From the blog post it seems like Twitter's data probably reflects that.

In many ways, doubling down on the TweetDeck web experience and discontinuing our app support is a reflection of where our TweetDeck power-users are going.

What does not make sense is that Twitter decided to post the news on a Posterous blog.  Why?  Twitter acquired Posterous awhile ago and will be shutting down Posterous on April 30th, 2013.  You can read Sachin Agarwal's, the Founder and CEO of Posterous, blog post about it.  (If you have a Posterous blog you should go backup your data immediately if you want it.  You can transfer it to WordPress or Tumblr blog.)  Twitter it seems want all the focus to be on developing Twitter and the buyout was probably what is known as an “acquihire.”  These acquihires by big tech companies are usually just to get the talent from the company they are buying out and not necessarily for the technology itself.

If anyone would like to suggest a good TweetDeck replacement, please leave a comment and suggest one.  I most likely will be trying out different Twitter apps that can handle multiple accounts over the next month or two.  I will keep people updated with what I do and don't like.

If you are a TweetDeck user and as unhappy as I am, let me know how you feel.  I would be interested to hear from others.