Apple acquires Twitter analytics firm: WSJ

Cupertino pays $200m for entire tweet archive

Tags: Apple IncorporatedMergers and acquisitionsSocial MediaTwitter IncorporationUSA
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Apple acquires Twitter analytics firm: WSJ Analysts are trying to make sense of Apple’s purchase of Topsy, which uses Twitter’s vast archive to provide market insights.
By  Stephen McBride Published  December 3, 2013

Apple Inc has spent over $200m on a startup company that specialises in mining Twitter data for market insights, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The social analytics company, called Topsy, focuses on monitoring worldwide tweets to find trending topics, repeat phrases and repeat tweeters. It is then able to weed out the success of a marketing campaign or find influential people tweeting on a topic of interest.

According to the WSJ, Topsy is one of very few partners that have full access to Twitter's so-called "fire hose", which constitutes the full archive of tweets since 2006. Twitter's entry-level API only allows developers access to around 1% of the API according to developer forums.

Industry analysts are now speculating on Apple's reasons for targeting Topsy. Last month the Cupertino-based firm announced the acquisition of PrimeSense, a company that specialises in 3D-sensor technology. This acquisition remained in line with Apple's historic pattern of hardware improvement, but Topsy marks the first time the iPhone maker has taken a direct interest in social media.

"From a usage perspective, they can use it for the app store and iTunes," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, referring to the ecosystem's recommendations feature.

"With apps, it is really difficult to find good recommendations," she said. "It's much harder to see what people use and why."

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