Twitter confirmed on Wednesday that it has bought TweetDeck, a popular third-party software application that organizes tweets, the short messages delivered through the online social network.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed in a statement but a source told Reuters earlier this month that a deal for up to $50 million was imminent.

Twitter's Jodi Olson said that Twitter plans to invest in TweetDeck.

In recent months Twitter has cracked down on third-party application providers such as TweetDeck as a way to protect its turf.

The London-based TweetDeck was in talks with UberMedia, a Web company founded by Bill Gross that has been collecting Twitter applications. Some commentators have speculated that they could be used to create a rival network to Twitter.

Twitter, which allows people to send 140-character text messages, or tweets, to groups of followers is one of the Web's most popular social networking sites along with Facebook and Zynga.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba. Editing by Robert MacMillan)