Apple Buys Twitter Analytics Company Topsy for over $200 Million

Apple has acquired the social media analytics startup Topsy, reports say.

Apple paid $200 million to acquier Twitter analytics company Topsy, a source familiar with the matter revealed to reporters. Photo: Gregavola/Flickr

The Cupertino-based company has recently acquired social-media analytics firm Topsy Labs Inc. offering for a deal more than $200 million, claims The Wall Street Journal that was the first publication to reveal the news.

Topsy has access to data firehose of the world popular microblogging service. The company provides users with a possibility to analyze tweets, gather sentiment and measure the reach of a campaign, hashtag or message, Mashable explains.

Back in September, the analytics startup rolled out the ability to search Twitter’s entire archive.

Industry expecrts claim that it was unlikely that the Californian firm and Topsy startup would have agreed to a deal without Twitter’s blessing.

An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the deal but didn’t provide any further comments.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” she said.

Susan Etlinger, industry analyst at Altimeter Group, told reporters that Topsy’s analysis could help the iPhone maker recommend songs, movies and TV shows to iTunes users.

Topsy engineers are predicted to help Apple learn how to extract similar insights from other large data sets.

Apple “could benefit from a more forward looking view of what people’s interests are,” Ms. Etlinger explained. “Twitter is optimized for understanding conversations around entertainment.”

Topsy is quite a significant acquisition for the tech giant as unlike its past purchases of startups, such as HopStop and Locationary, there isn’t a clear product application.

One analyst suggested that Topsy’s data could benefit a range of Apple partners, “including media companies that provide content to the iTunes stores, developers who create apps for iOS, and advertisers in iAd.”

“All of these businesses would appreciate having access to more of this real-time data,” said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer. “Now Apple has a new tool to help the companies that use its services become better, smarter marketers.”

Unfortunately, the same can be said about Apple’s last month’s acquisition of PrimeSense, Isralian company that stays behind the Xbox Kinect’s 3D-sensor technology.

PrimeSense has raised $85 million from Israeli and U.S. venture capital funds such as Canaan Partners Global, Gemini Israel and Genesis Partners, Israeli local news agencies said.

“We are focused on building a prosperous company while bringing 3D sensing and natural interaction to the mass market in a variety of markets such as interactive living room and mobile devices,” a spokeswoman for PrimeSense said.

PrimeSense’s unique technology, which provides digital devices with the ability to observe a scene in three dimensions, was used to help power Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect.

The deal worthed Apple $345 million. Initially, some sources claimed that Apple was in talks to acquire PrimeSense at a valuation between $280 million and $300 million, Mashable writes.

“With Topsy, the purpose is less clear,” the publiation adds.

“The Journal posits that it could be useful for iTunes Radio — a product that already has direct integration with Twitter Music — or its flailing iAd product. Still, the purpose of acquiring an analytics firm that is so focused on one specific social network is, in a word, odd.”

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