Apple Buys Twitter Search Firm Topsy

TopsyApple has acquired the social analytics firm Topsy Labs for more than $200m, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The tool enables users to monitor organic trends, social influencers and marketing campaigns in real-time. The company holds all Twitter data from 2006 onwards and now deals with up to 500m tweets per day from Twitters 230m users. The platform is a favourite among journalists and analysts, particularly those who believe Twitter sentiment can influence the stock market.

The product could be integrated right across Apple’s business to improve its marketing effectiveness or understanding of its existing data, although this raises questions about whether Topsy would continue to work with outside clients. App Store and iTunes recommendations could benefit from the use of wider public sentiment, or offer more personalised suggestions based on social activity. The platform could likewise improve targeting of iAd advertising campaigns.

Apple is reasonably discerning in its acquisitions, making around nine this year, with Topsy the only one dedicated to big data social tracking.