With the surprise $200 million acquisition of Topsy, Cupertino has become one of only four companies that have the rights to crunch and resell data from Twitter. Besides Topsy, these “certified data resellers,” are Gnip, Data Sift, and Japan’s NTT Data. These four companies account for the majority of Twitter’s data revenue.
Not on this list, of course, is Google, which severed ties with Twitter in 2012.
So what does this mean? The Wall Street Journal says:
While it’s not clear how Apple plans to use Topsy, one possible scenario would use data from Topsy to alert listeners to songs that are trending or artists being discussed on Twitter. Apple could also use Topsy to monitor how Twitter users chat about Apple products and applications.
In doing so, Apple could use this information to improve its search algorithms across its many products. Besides iTunes, this could include Siri, the App Store, and more. It could help Apple better target iAds.