In surprising news today, Six Apart has announced that they will be acquiring Pownce for an undisclosed amount of money but Pownce will cease to exist come December 15th. As VentureBeat points out, this looks like a move to acquire skills and people rather than the service. A quick look at the Pownce timeline showcases some unhappy users which is to be expected.
The official Pownce blog contains instructions on how to export data from a Pownce account. The tool will create an export file that can then be imported into Vox, TypePad, or WordPress. As for those who purchased pro accounts, looks like they will be receiving an email with additional information within the coming days.
I have no idea what Six Apart has in mind for the Pownce team members but it could be interesting. Also, this signifies that Twitter is the cream of the crop in terms of microblogging services. What will happen to Jaiku or Plurk? This situation is also a good opportunity to think about what would happen if Twitter ended up with the same fate. Hopefully, they would also provide export tools but considering their size, their userbase, etc. I doubt we’ll be seeing Twitter going away anytime soon.
As I conversed about this story with PatrickD on Twitter, he made a great point:
patrickd88@jeffr0 Twitter had the advantage of being first. Nobody could touch it. The only service to almost take it down was itself!