by Brent Dirks
December 2, 2013
Apple has recently acquired social media analytics firm Topsy for more than $200 million, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Apple confirmed the purchase to the site:
An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the deal but wouldn’t comment further. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” she said without elaborating further.Topsy focuses mainly on analyzing data from Twitter. It examines tweets to gauge consumer sentiment on certain subjects. While we don’t know exactly what Apple’s interested in doing with the data, the report speculates on two specific areas - iTunes Radio and iAds:
It’s unclear how Apple plans to use Topsy. There may be opportunities to link Topsy’s technology with Apple’s iTunes Radio, an online-streaming-music competitor to Pandora Media Inc. and Spotify AB. One possible scenario would use data from Topsy to alert listeners to songs that are trending or artists being discussed on Twitter. Topsy also could provide marketers with real-time data to sell targeted advertising on iTunes radio. Apple has been wrestling with a tepid response from marketers for its iAd platform, which was launched in 2010 to sell ads within mobile apps on iPhones, iPads and iPods running on the company’s iOS software. Apple initially required advertisers to spend $1 million in an iAd campaign. It has since lowered that threshold to $100,000 per campaign in an effort to broaden its appeal to advertisers.That’s definitely an interesting acquisition for Apple. I'm really interested to see what plans Tim Cook and company have in store for the massive amounts of Twitter data they now have. Apple has been on a buying spree as of late. Late last month, the company acquired PrimeSense, the original company behind the 3-D technology found in Microsoft’s Kinect sensor. Earlier this year, Apple also bought transit app developer Embark and transit firms HopStop and Locationary.