Apple gets big data analytics, buys Topsy Labs for $200M


According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Apple acquired Topsy Labs for $200M. The acquisition represents a serious jump into big data analytics in social media for Apple.

"The company is one of a handful of Twitter Inc. partners with access to the so-called 'fire hose'--the full stream of tweets since 2006, which now average roughly 500 million a day. Topsy then analyzes this information and resells it to customers. Industry executives said it was unlikely that Apple and Topsy would have agreed to a deal without Twitter's blessing."

Market watchers have long lamented Twitter's failure to monetize but such concerns are misplaced. The value of Twitter is more connected to its ecosystem and data collections than it will ever be to ad sales.

Apple plugs directly into that data with the purchase of Topsy Labs for myriad advantages that surpass any cursory exam of Twitter data by non-Twitter affiliated entities. The Wall Street Journal points to one example of how Apple can benefit:

"Apple could use Topsy's trends data and proprietary Twitter access to improve its Siri search on iPhone. It also could be used as a more reliable way to present users with trending topics and search results."

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's intellectual booty to be had too.  

"Topsy, as one of Twitter's early certified partners, has filed for more than a dozen patents related to social networks, including systems and methods for prediction-based crawling of social media networks and systems and methods for customized filtering and analysis of social media content collected over social networks."

Look for more consolidation between companies and data firms as major players in the market jockey for superior competitive positions.

For more:
- see The Wall Street Journal report

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