The following is an excerpt from a MacNewsWorld article entitled “Topsy Buy Gives Apple Mountains of Twitter Data.”
Apple has acquired Topsy in order to gain more access to real-time consumer information, according to press reports. Topsy provides Twitter data for business clients, helping them to gauge consumer sentiment, find influential social media voices, and measure overall exposure on any topic that’s been mentioned in a tweet.
Earlier this year, Topsy debuted a search engine designed to help users parse the more than 425 billion tweets that have appeared on Twitter since its 2006 launch. Via Topsy, anyone can search tweets from past events like the Super Bowl or a major election, for instance, and then sort the results by date, time, language, or photo or video content.
Apple reportedly spent more than US$200 million on the deal. Neither Apple nor Topsy responded to our request to comment for this story.
Bolstering Apple’s Offerings
Topsy’s functionality could enhance some of Apple’s existing offerings, suggested Anindya Ghose, associate professor at the NYU Stern School of Business.
“Topsy has great search and indexing capabilities on unstructured content such as the textual data on Twitter via Topsy’s search engine,” he told MacNewsWorld. “Apple may want to use that to improve its own voice search capabilities via Siri.”
In addition, Apple could be looking to bolster its streaming content offerings, said Jim Tobin, president of Ignite Social Media. Netflix has seen success in part because of its ability to recommend shows and movies that viewers would like based on their previous habits. Apple could be aiming to strengthen its ability to make app suggestions.
“Apple’s motives in buying Topsy seem to fall into two general categories,” Tobin told MacNewsWorld.
Apple could want to “generate better results for their App Store and iTunes by integrating Twitter data,” he suggested, or Apple could want to utilize “the engineering chops of the Topsy staff to make their own algorithms better, independent of Twitter data. Of course, it could also be both.”
Read the entire article here.