Apple buys Twitter analytics firm Topsy

By Peter Gothard
03 Dec 2013 View Comments
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Apple has acquired Topsy, a social analytics firm, for a rumoured $200m. The company specialises in crunching Twitter data, but Apple will not reveal its plans for the start-up.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," was all Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet would say.

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Topsy has also so far not responded to requests for comment about the acquisition.

The company, which advertises its ability to "search and analyze the social web" by using "all tweets since 2006" as a dataset, could provide Apple with its first real power source in the world of social media.

To date, Apple's only notable foray into social media was its Ping platform, a social content sharing network based on music, which was at one time integrated into iTunes.

Ping allowed users to post favourite music tracks to a news feed, in a similar way to the popular Spotify service, but it disappeared from iTunes in October 2012 due to lack of user interest.

While it's tempting to believe that Apple may be working on its own large-scale social media project, it seems more likely that, in a bid to keep on improving its app store to compete with the growing power of Android, Apple may use the Topsy technology to create a recommendation service for app users.

Topsy is a Twitter partner, and with its direct access to every one of billions of tweets since 2006, it could provide a solid insight for Apple into what apps people are using, how and where in the world.

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