Apple reportedly made one of their most peculiar purchase yet with the acquisition of Twitter analytics company Topsy for reported $200m.
“Topsy, founded in 2007, has created a complete searchable archive of 450 billion tweets sent over Twitter since it was set up, and added other analytics tools to make itself useful to businesses – who can buy pro services in order to tailor their social efforts,” according to a report from the Guardian.
Writing for Forbes – Jeff Bercovici highlights several possibilities on how this deal will benefit Apple in the future:
- Using social data to improve services, particularly Siri. There’s no end of ways real-time analytics might be feed into the back end of Apple services in order to make them more useful and timely… A particularly promising use case might be Siri, the voice-activated operating system rolled out with the iPhone 4s to much fanfare, and subsequent indifference.
- Enhancing content discovery. When it comes to selling TV shows, movies, books, magazines and songs, Apple mostly relies on the quality and ubiquity of its devices and software. But discovery has always been a problem, with sales dominated by whatever’s at the top of the “most popular” charts.
- Fixing app search and discovery. ”Most people don’t understand the importance of being able to index short messages,” says Poptip founder Kelsey Falter. That’s the expertise Topsy’s engineers have. It’s also the one that would be needed if you wanted to, say, index user reviews in the app store — not just by informational content, but potentially by sentiment as well, something Topsy already does with tweets.
- Strengthening the overall app ecosystem. Fixing app discovery is part of the goal, agrees Trip Chowdhry, managing director at Global Equities Research. But his company’s intelligence-gathering suggests the Topsy purchase is also aimed at helping developers iterate their apps more rapidly by providing richer and more detailed user feedback than the App Store’s one-to-five-stars rating system allows for.
- Real-time marketing and relationship management. Gartner analyst Brian Blau foresees a host of ways Topsy’s technology could be valuable to Apple. “These algorithms, I think, break the bounds of social technology,” he says.
- Juicing iAd. “The most clear use of Topsy would be for Apple to make a push deeper into advertising services with social analytics,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said.
Storm is a technology enthusiast, who resides in the UK. He enjoys reading and writing about technology.
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