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Apple buys social media analytics firm Topsy for over $200M

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
According to a report on Monday, Apple recently spent more than $200 million to acquire Topsy Labs Inc., a social media analysis firm specializing in tracking Twitter trends.

Topsy


Apple confirmed the purchase to the The Wall Street Journal on Monday with a boilerplate statement regarding recent acquisitions, declining to elaborate on deal.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies form time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," said an Apple spokeswoman.

Topsy offers highly targeted analysis of Twitter's "firehose," or the stream of tweets posted to the microblogging service. As a Twitter-certified partner, the firm looks at tweets and other user data to track user sentiment, find influencers for specific subjects and measure the effectiveness of Twitter ad campaigns, among other metrics.

It is not known what Apple plans to do with the company's assets, but the publication notes Topsy's technology could be applied to iTunes Radio to help identify and recommend artists or songs trending on Twitter. Another guess involves real-time analysis of market trends to sell advertisements on Apple's new Internet radio service.

Reports from 2010 claimed Apple had tried to strike a deal with Facebook that would connect the massive social network with iTunes, but negotiations ultimately failed, leading to the creation of the now defunct Ping social network. While mere speculation, the Topsy buy could bring a sort of unofficial connection with Twitter, though Apple could, of course, be looking to use the tech for something else entirely.
post #2 of 53
Wow, never saw this one coming. Interesting is an understatement.
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post #3 of 53
Intersting indeed. I use this site from time to time to search tweets, but the non paid version doesn't let you search everything. Wonder what Apple will use it for...
post #4 of 53
Hopefully this is the start of a more effective PR campaign that will allow Apple to connect directly to the consumer, instead of being drug through the mud by the technocrati and paid anti apple shills. This also happens to be an area where Apple's new head of retail made a lot of improvements as CEO of Burberry. Very much looking forward to seeing what comes of this.

   

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post #5 of 53
Microsoft doesn't need anyone to predict trends or analyze data... Ballmer has a "nose" for what the "next big thing" will be...

Trust the nose... follow the nose... the nose will lead you...

Samsung doesn't need anyone to predict trends or analyze data... Just watch what Apple is doing and copy quickly...

Damn the patents... Bribe, payoff or "disappear" any who may slow down wholesale copying... To hell with R & D...
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post #6 of 53
Apple will rename it Son of Ping or Pong.
post #7 of 53
There was a time Apple could have bought Twitter for that much.
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post #8 of 53
I still maintain that the entirety of the service Ping should have been a button that appeared on the row of the currently playing song in iTunes, and when clicked it would send out a tweet of the name of that song with an iTunes short-link. I.E. An elegant, convenient way to tell the world your now playing song. I'd say that service/feature would still be in regular widespread use today across the various iTunes platforms.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 53

I'd take that one step further and make it more generic allowing it to be posted to a grouping of social services of your choice i.e. the social group might contain your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest account details. I guess it could also be context sensitive so depending on which app you're in it only post to elements of that group.

post #10 of 53

Another possible use of Topsy's data may be to provide crowd sourced opinions / trending for Siri.

post #11 of 53

I hope we realize that Apple will be using the analytics to better provide results in their stores for both physical and digital products, as well as to provide better localization information for Siri and not some social media network of their own.

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post #12 of 53
200 million to compile & analyze tweets & trends for marketing or iTunes music taste, seems like this could be done by Apple without buying Topsy.
They must have bigger plans for this buy.
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I still maintain that the entirety of the service Ping should have been a button that appeared on the row of the currently playing song in iTunes, and when clicked it would send out a tweet of the name of that song with an iTunes short-link. I.E. An elegant, convenient way to tell the world your now playing song. I'd say that service/feature would still be in regular widespread use today across the various iTunes platforms.
But truly, would the world care what you or I play?
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

But truly, would the world care what you or I play?

Don't be embarrassed by your Justin Bieber collection.
post #15 of 53
I recall Tim Cook describing Apple as a products company. 1hmm.gif
post #16 of 53

Media analytics suggests this might supplement their iAd or advertising efforts?

 

I can't imagine Apple buying something like Twitter at this stage. They're not going to pay $1+ Billion for a social media platform, but they might want to analyze traffic and use it to improve apps for developers or fine-tune their own advertising.

 

Still, it's interesting they'd pay this much for a social media analysis company, yet they have been far more frugal with their hardware and software company purchases.

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post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Don't be embarrassed by your Justin Bieber collection.

You came in like a wrecking ball.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett Ruess View Post

200 million to compile & analyze tweets & trends for marketing or iTunes music taste, seems like this could be done by Apple without buying Topsy.
They must have bigger plans for this buy.
TC is an evil genius, no telling what he has Cooking up.
post #19 of 53
All Things D posted the following...

"...recently unveiled a search engine capable of searching through 425 billion or so tweets..."

What caught my attention was "search engine"!

This is just a WAG, but could Apple be looking at entering the search arena?
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

All Things D posted the following...

"...recently unveiled a search engine capable of searching through 425 billion or so tweets..."

What caught my attention was "search engine"!

This is just a WAG, but could Apple be looking at entering the search arena?

They can search 425 billion tweets? That is an incredible data mine! Market research on Apple and competitor products, monetization of the data like Google does with search, the possibilities are endless.

And I bet Topsy said "And boy have we patented it!"

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post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Don't be embarrassed by your Justin Bieber collection.

Just in what?
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyThePirate View Post

Hopefully this is the start of a more effective PR campaign that will allow Apple to connect directly to the consumer, instead of being drug through the mud by the technocrati and paid anti apple shills. This also happens to be an area where Apple's new head of retail made a lot of improvements as CEO of Burberry. Very much looking forward to seeing what comes of this.

Kinda hard to take you seriously when you use 'drug' for 'dragged'.
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post #23 of 53

With hundreds of millions of iOS and Mac users, Apple must be drowning in data and needs to throw some money at the problem. There's quite a bit on the backend of their services offerings that Apple could use the underlying algorithms and human talent for, including:

 

iTunes

iCloud

iAd

iTunes Radio

iOS and Mac App Stores

Apple Online Retail Stores

Apple TV

Maps

[In my dreams: Apple Search]

For your sake, I hope you're right.
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post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyThePirate View Post

Hopefully this is the start of a more effective PR campaign that will allow Apple to connect directly to the consumer, instead of being drug through the mud by the technocrati and paid anti apple shills. This also happens to be an area where Apple's new head of retail made a lot of improvements as CEO of Burberry. Very much looking forward to seeing what comes of this.

Kinda hard to take you seriously when you use 'drug' for 'dragged'.

Kinda?
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Kinda?

Yes kinda, it is an accepted version of 'kind of', whereas 'drug' is in not accepted alternative to 'dragged'
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post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

With hundreds of millions of iOS and Mac users, Apple must be drowning in data and needs to throw some money at the problem. There's quite a bit on the backend of their services offerings that Apple could use the underlying algorithms and human talent for, including:

iTunes
iCloud
iAd
iTunes Radio
iOS and Mac App Stores

Apple Online Retail Stores
Apple TV
Maps
[In my dreams: Apple Search]

A good list, plus Siri, and soon indoor mapping and augmented reality.

We are headed toward real time global awareness and responsiveness. I think they have a plan.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Yes kinda, it is an accepted version of 'kind of', whereas 'drug' is in not accepted alternative to 'dragged'

Though I prefer being drugged to being dragged.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Kinda hard to take you seriously when you use 'drug' for 'dragged'.

Whoops.. I guess I slipped up there.

   

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post #29 of 53

This was such a surprise that even the Wikipedia list of mergers and acquisitions still has not yet been updated.  I had not heard of this company before but if Apple bought them, they can't be all bad.  

 

Topsy's technology may be applicable to more than Tweeter leading to more advanced search capabilities for Spotlight, Siri and Apple Maps.

 

Apple bought PlaceBase in 2009, remember the Policy Maps Demo, the decision engine was based on PlaceBase...

http://www.policymap.com/demo.html

 

OK.  That's it.  Next year, Google Search is toast. :) 

 

Seriously, I took a look at the website and it is very cool stuff.

Apple can enter into agreements to mine a wide variety of databases.

(Twitter, FaceBook, Yelp, Wolfram Alpha, WikiPedia etc...)


Edited by AppleSauce007 - 12/2/13 at 11:23pm
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 

Media analytics suggests this might supplement their iAd or advertising efforts?

 

I can't imagine Apple buying something like Twitter at this stage. They're not going to pay $1+ Billion for a social media platform

 

Twitter's market cap is $22+ Billion.

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post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

All Things D posted the following...

"...recently unveiled a search engine capable of searching through 425 billion or so tweets..."

What caught my attention was "search engine"!

This is just a WAG, but could Apple be looking at entering the search arena?

 

'entering' ?

 

They'd want to be doing more than entering to complete with Google.  My gut feeling tells me even if they wanted to enter the search engine market they'd have to concede that they wouldn't have a hope of doing something anywhere near as good as Google search. Besides, they have so much more to get right with their existing services search would be a huge distraction for them.

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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

They can search 425 billion tweets? That is an incredible data mine! Market research on Apple and competitor products, monetization of the data like Google does with search, the possibilities are endless.

And I bet Topsy said "And boy have we patented it!"

My, my... That IS interesting.

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post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Yes kinda, it is an accepted version of 'kind of', whereas 'drug' is in not accepted alternative to 'dragged'
It's listed in the OED as a dialect variant of dragged. In American usage it's a redneck variant!
post #34 of 53
From a NY Times article:

"Topsy makes its money from more sophisticated tools — aimed at marketers, media companies, political operations, and hedge funds — that require a subscription fee that starts at $12,000 a year. Those allow searches that compare different terms, narrow down results by geography and surface the specific tweets with the most influence on the social conversation."

And

"Mr. Prakash acknowledged that most of Topsy’s users work for businesses that need to mine Twitter for valuable information, such as Visa and USA Today. Competitors like DataSift and Gnip also offer access to the Twitter archive, he said, although their ability to deliver real-time information is more limited."

Both intriguing paragraphs.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/bits/2013/09/04/if-google-could-search-twitter-it-would-find-topsy/?_r=0

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GOA

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GOA

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post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

From a NY Times article:

"Topsy makes its money from more sophisticated tools — aimed at marketers, media companies, political operations, and hedge funds — that require a subscription fee that starts at $12,000 a year. Those allow searches that compare different terms, narrow down results by geography and surface the specific tweets with the most influence on the social conversation."

And

"Mr. Prakash acknowledged that most of Topsy’s users work for businesses that need to mine Twitter for valuable information, such as Visa and USA Today. Competitors like DataSift and Gnip also offer access to the Twitter archive, he said, although their ability to deliver real-time information is more limited."

Both intriguing paragraphs.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/bits/2013/09/04/if-google-could-search-twitter-it-would-find-topsy/?_r=0

 

What the hell is Apple up to?

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post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Just in what?

That reminds me of something one of my friends told me long back. She was working on developing software for hospitals and needed a database of dummy Staff details. So rather than settling for standard names like 'John Smith' or 'Joe Bloggs', they went creative. A couple of the names were 'Justin Foracheck' and 'Anurin Faraday'.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Kinda?

Yes kinda, it is an accepted version of 'kind of', whereas 'drug' is in not accepted alternative to 'dragged'

is in not accepted?
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Don't be embarrassed by your Justin Bieber collection.

Just in what?

Time
Quote:
Originally Posted by BestKeptSecret View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Just in what?

That reminds me of something one of my friends told me long back. She was working on developing software for hospitals and needed a database of dummy Staff details. So rather than settling for standard names like 'John Smith' or 'Joe Bloggs', they went creative. A couple of the names were 'Justin Foracheck' and 'Anurin Faraday'.

lol

Bit like 'Miss Understood'.
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post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett Ruess View Post

200 million to compile & analyze tweets & trends for marketing or iTunes music taste, seems like this could be done by Apple without buying Topsy.
They must have bigger plans for this buy.

Yeah I'm clearly in the wrong game. No money in science or disaster impact assessment (in Australia anyway).

Must try to think of a startup and monetise it.
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

With hundreds of millions of iOS and Mac users, Apple must be drowning in data and needs to throw some money at the problem. There's quite a bit on the backend of their services offerings that Apple could use the underlying algorithms and human talent for, including:

iTunes
iCloud
iAd
iTunes Radio
iOS and Mac App Stores

Apple Online Retail Stores
Apple TV
Maps
[In my dreams: Apple Search]

Your list is mostly services where the customer has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Apple is NOT Google.

Tweets, however, are public, and there is no expectation of privacy. I think this is a very deliberate move by Apple, to find the one area where they can monetize services without violating privacy.

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