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Apple Acquires Social Analytics Firm Topsy for $200 Million
Topsy also makes products to search and analyze trends on social websites like Twitter and Google+. With its analytics tools, companies can analyze keywords by several different metrics such as activity, exposure, geography, or general sentiment. The Topsy website also serves as a search engine that looks through shared content on social networks and ranks results based on a social influence algorithm.
Topsy specializes in data from Twitter, offering tools to analyze tweets and other information to help track consumer sentiment. Its tools can decipher how often a specific term is tweeted, find an influential person on a specific subject, or measure the exposure of an event or campaign.An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition with the company’s standard line: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
The company is one of a handful of Twitter’s partners who have access to the so-called "firehose"—the full stream of all tweets posted to the service. Topsy competes with DataSift Inc. and Gnip Inc. to analyze and resell this data to customers.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple could possibly use Topsy's technology within iTunes Radio, and it could also be useful in the App Store, delivering content recommendations based on Twitter trends. It could also be used as a way to bolster iAd, providing data to marketers to serve targeted ads in iRadio.
Apple's purchase of Topsy comes after several other acquisitions earlier this year focused on mapping. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple made a total of 15 acquisitions during fiscal 2013.