Is Apple about to get social with the purchase of Topsy?

For some time now, Apple has been a stand-out as a company that has seemingly shied away from social media, while at the same time being very successful.

All that may change with the news that Apple has bought social media analytics company Topsy for a reported $200m+.

topsy-front-page

Apple is flush with cash, and they could have bought almost any social media analytics company – so why Topsy?

It could be because of two things:

1) The Twitter firehose – Topsy is one of just 3 “data resellers” authorised by Twitter to sell access to the firehose, the other two being Datasift and Gnip.

2) Tweet archive – Topsy has all the tweets back to the first one sent on March 21st, 2006 by Jack Dorsey

I know a little about the value of both the Twitter firehose and the archive, having been the CEO of Kred until recently, which was developed by PeopleBrowsr.

Some eagle eyed readers will remember that PeopleBrowsr was in dispute with Twitter over access to the firehose, and later settled.

The nature of the Twitter/PeopleBrowsr dispute proved how valuable the firehose can be to both sides.  The additional benefit of having firehose access is you get to collect each and every tweet, and can build up a sizeable archive.

At PeopleBrowsr, tweets since November 2008 numbered in the 250 Billion range

So what will Apple do with Topsy?

I’d imagine they see more value in the technology and the team than just the pretty charts they can develop.

topsy-graph

My initial view is that Apple is keen to dip their toe in the social analytics pond, and see what they can make of social “big data”.

Having access to the full historic set as well as all of the ongoing tweets via the firehose will give Apple a clear advantage in the social analytics space. and it will be interesting to see if Topsy continues to provide their services as-is, or gets absorbed into Apple.

While I am sure that Gnip and Datasift will welcome the news that their market has been validated to the tune of 200M+, and we may start to see Microsoft and Google look more closely at the 2 major firehose recipients as acquisitions.

One thing is sure, big social data should be on everyone’s agenda for 2014.

If you enjoyed this blog post you may like other related posts listed below under You may also like ...

To receive future posts you can subscribe via email or RSS, download the android app, or follow me on twitter @andrewgrill.

About 

Based in London, Andrew is an internationally renowned thought leader in the field of social business and social media networks. Andrew is a Global Partner with IBM, with a focus on Social Business.



You may also like ...

  • http://twitter.com/marketingblogs/status/407669320546676736/ Marketing Blog News (@marketingblogs)

    Is Apple about to get social with the purchase of Topsy? http://t.co/qTfLM5LEVk

  • http://twitter.com/AstridRory/status/407675012175237120/ @AstridRory

    This is interesting! Is #Apple about to get social with the purchase of Topsy? http://t.co/KWM9GRfTnG

  • http://twitter.com/mdf2014/status/407701547368607744/ @mdf2014

    RT @PamMktgNut: Is Apple about to get social with the purchase of Topsy? – London Calling social business http://t.co/caMM7LZTzW via @Andr…

  • http://twitter.com/rajamohantweets/status/407714203307614208/ @rajamohantweets

    Apply has bought Topsy http://t.co/J4q0ecgsnF Learnt that Topsy, Datasift and Gnip are the only 3 data resellers of Twitter firehose

  • http://twitter.com/mdial/status/407744008169877504/ @mdial

    MRT @AndrewGrill: Is Apple about to get social with the purchase of Topsy? Just provided my POV at http://t.co/233srphTyK #firehose

  • http://twitter.com/sarahgreasley/status/407772004352528384/ @sarahgreasley

    RT @AndrewGrill: This is interesting… Apple buys @Topsy (one of only a handful of analytics companies with the Twitter firehose) http://t…

  • http://twitter.com/schtevey/status/407790334395944960/ @schtevey

    Interesting Read > RT @AndrewGrill: Is Apple about to get social with the purchase of Topsy? http://t.co/l0njKQLIWR

  • http://twitter.com/Sammyps/status/407807845229678592/ @Sammyps

    RT @AndrewGrill: Apple could buy almost any social media company they wanted – so why @Topsy? 3 words: Twitter firehose archive http://t.co…

  • http://twitter.com/jer979/status/407821477053231104/ @jer979

    “@simonjhughes: Is #Apple about to get social with the purchase of #Topsy? http://t.co/GEGukYt2yP via @andrewgrill #social #analytics”

  • http://twitter.com/LostInPoker/status/407831017194401793/ @LostInPoker

    RT @steve_penfold: With lots of cash, Apple can buy almost any social media analytics company – so why Topsy? via @AndrewGrill #startup htt…

  • http://twitter.com/sarahethomas/status/407846679472123904/ @sarahethomas

    RT @AndrewGrill: This is interesting… Apple buys @Topsy (one of only a handful of analytics companies with the Twitter firehose) http://t…

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Petrie/status/407861038680252416/ @Michael_Petrie

    Is Apple about to get social with the purchase of Topsy? – London Calling social business http://t.co/E4iO7IOw3Y

  • http://twitter.com/Royal_Arse/status/407886384695754754/ @Royal_Arse

    Topsy is 1 of just 3 “data resellers” authorized by Twitter to sell access to the firehose (Datasift & Gnip other 2) http://t.co/0UP5dF2Icu

  • http://twitter.com/TalkwalkerIT/status/407902870584188929/ @TalkwalkerIT

    Quindi la #Apple spende 200 milioni per comprare topsy… ma perché? http://t.co/xDPmTC790a

  • http://twitter.com/hugomcpinto/status/407924109893705728/ @hugomcpinto

    What do you make of this @finnstr http://t.co/njXhRAFQIu

  • http://twitter.com/oliverwalsh/status/407943021024382976/ @oliverwalsh

    IBM social guru @AndrewGrill view on Apple’s acquisition of Topsy http://t.co/QdHDsmtAyJ

  • http://twitter.com/SamCherryDownes/status/407957227958702080/ @SamCherryDownes

    RT @oliverwalsh: IBM social guru @AndrewGrill view on Apple’s acquisition of Topsy http://t.co/QdHDsmtAyJ

  • http://twitter.com/sulufiti/status/408168429338652672/ @sulufiti

    RT @JorgenSundberg: Is Apple about to get social with the purchase of Topsy? http://t.co/9mJcVTFxA6

  • http://twitter.com/LolaSJeremic/status/408188984909508608/ @LolaSJeremic

    Is #Apple about to get social with the purchase of #Topsy? http://t.co/RBPa3stvCz

  • http://twitter.com/tcarb1/status/408307747298344960/ @tcarb1

    Is Apple about to get social with the purchase of Topsy? – London Calling social business http://t.co/AS9cPxjWsT

  • http://twitter.com/P12ASH/status/408590893055102976/ @P12ASH

    Looks like Apple may be jumping into #SocialAnalytics #BigSocialData

    http://t.co/5weTmz6Oro