Pownce, that high-end Twitter clone created by Kevin Rose and his friends that was started in June 2007 (as a private beta), have announced that they have been bought by Movable Type and Vox owners Six Apart; and that in two weeks, Pownce will shut down its doors forever on December 15.
According to the Six Apart blog, all of the team will make the move to Movable Type. However, only Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka will be advising the company. Leah Culver and Mike Malone, the two engineers for Pownce, will be integrated into the team. The site has offered people to export all your Pownce messages to other blogging services like Vox, TypePad and WordPress.
While it did come as a shock, it is not surprising to see it go. Pownce, and Jaiku (which Google bought in 2007), are both struggling because of the growing popularity of Twitter, especially during the election campaign for the US Presidency, with both Barack Obama and John McCain all having profiles. While Pownce did get some attention for being the better version of Twitter, it’s popularity declined once it became public – I even didn’t update my Pownce profile until sometime before the elections.
So long Pownce.