Apple Buys Twitter Analytics Firm Topsy for $200 Million

The acquisition could lead to more customized product recommendations

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Robert Galbraith / REUTERS

Apple Inc. acquired the Twitter analytics firm Topsy — which uses tweets to determine consumer attitudes — for about $200 million on Monday.

An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the deal to the Wall Street Journal, though the company’s plan for the firms were not discussed. Topsy, however, is one of a few companies that have access to the “firehose,” or every one of the billions of tweets posted to the service since 2006. The information is used by groups to determine how users feel about certain products and who influences consumer behavior. It also offers exact counts of who is tweeting what, which could have a huge impact on Apple platforms.

While it is unclear exactly how Apple plans to integrate Topsy data, TechCrunch posits that Apple may use it analyze tweets in order “to recommend apps on a more personal basis, rather than ‘generically’ to everyone.” What’s more, “Apple could theoretically use social data to help advertisers display ads to more relevant viewers.”

The San Francisco startup was founded in 2007 by its chief technology officer Vipul Ved Prakash, along with Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Gary Iwatani and Justin Foutts.

[Wall Street Journal]