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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2015
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.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,498member
    Wow, never saw this one coming. Interesting is an understatement.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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...
  • Reply 3 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 52
    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...
  • Reply 5 of 52
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    Apple will rename it Son of Ping or Pong.
  • Reply 6 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 17,685member
    There was a time Apple could have bought Twitter for that much.
  • Reply 7 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 17,685member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 52

    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.

  • Reply 9 of 52

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

  • Reply 10 of 52

    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.

  • Reply 11 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 52
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,616member
    ireland wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 13 of 52
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    paxman wrote: »
    But truly, would the world care what you or I play?

    Don't be embarrassed by your Justin Bieber collection.
  • Reply 14 of 52
    I recall Tim Cook describing Apple as a products company. :\
  • Reply 15 of 52

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 52
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    jungmark wrote: »
    Don't be embarrassed by your Justin Bieber collection.

    You came in like a wrecking ball.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 52
    jonoromjonorom Posts: 293member
    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!"
  • Reply 20 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,460member
    jungmark wrote: »
    Don't be embarrassed by your Justin Bieber collection.

    Just in what?
Sign In or Register to comment.