Apple Buys Topsy And Gains Deep Insight Into Twitter

Image via Topsy

Apple Inc. has made an acquisition that has the tech community abuzz with excitement. The Cupertino company may be looking into improving its social life, as its latest acquisition is an analytics firm called Topsy Labs Inc. The acquisition was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Topsy is noted for its incredible analytics of conversations on Twitter. Using Topsy’s tools you can find out how often any particular word, or group of words, is tweeted. You can also use the tools to find out who holds the most influence on a particular subject, or measure the public exposure of an event.

Topsy is a strategic acquisition for Apple, as it is one of very few companies that has access to Twitter’s “fire hose,” which is the full thread of tweets beginning in 2006 and running into the present. At the current time, approximately 500 million tweets per day are posted by Twitter users, and Topsy analyzes the tweets and sells the information gathered to its clients.

Apple Inc, Twitter, and Topsy were all contacted by the WSJ for comments, but not much information has been released. Twitter declined to make any comments, while Topsy never responded to requests for a comment. Apple gave its usual reply of “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose and plans.”

No one is certain what Apple’s interest in Topsy is. However, several analysts have said that the company’s tools could be used to monitor iTunes, the Siri voice assistant program, and the iAd advertising platform.

Susan Eitlinger, an Altimeter Group analyst, said that Apple “could benefit from a more forward view of what people’s interests are. Twitter is optimized for understanding conversations around entertainment.”

Ms. Eitlinger believes Apple will use data from Topsy to help recommend music, movies, and other offerings on its iTunes network.

Whatever Apple plans to use Topsy for, you can bet it will be an effective tool in the hands of Tim Cook and the other executives at the tech giant’s home office. Being able to monitor social media may be the perfect way for Apple to get its fingertip on the pulse of the world. This could mean more effective product launches and improvement of existing products.