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Apple acquires Twitter analysis firm

Graeme Parton

Tech giant Apple has unveiled the latest addition to its acquisition portfolio  – Topsy Labs.

Topsy specialises in analytics, using data provided by Twitter to keep track of customer behaviour and sentiment. It is one of the small number of companies to have full access to the social network’s data stream.

One of its most notable achievements involved creating a searchable database comprising all of the posts ever to be published on Twitter.

While the exact figures are yet to be officially announced, the Wall Street Journal, when breaking the story, said it was approximately $200 million (£122 million).

Topsy’s work involves determining who the social site’s influential figures are, finding out which terms are trending and measuring the effects of specific campaigns.

The news comes after Apple bought PrimeSense, an Israel-based 3D technology specialist, just last month.

When confirming the most recent deal, Apple’s spokesperson chose not to provide any details of the company’s plans for its new acquisition. However, some experts have said that Apple may be looking at a number of uses for Topsy, with the better placement of its already-popular products on social media sites.

Speaking to the BBC, marketing expert Sanjana Chappalli said:

“There are millions of people sharing their thoughts on platforms such as Twitter on any given day.

“For companies to be able to understand what is popular with these users and what they are interested in, and then use it to their advantage, they need to filter the content and understand it – Topsy gives Apple the tools to do just that.”

Chappalli went on to explain how search engines, particularly Bing and Google, have recently been moving in a similar direction.

While Apple is one of the world’s biggest brands, it is yet to have a real impact on the world of social media. It’s only real effort, a music-sharing tool called Ping, was far from successful and was eventually dropped completely.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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