Apple buys Topsy to gain social media insight

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 03, 2013

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When Apple announced its acquisition of Topsy Labs, a social media analytics company, some in the industry were taken by surprise as why a hardware company would buy a social media firm. However, a closer examination would confirm that the iphone maker has other plans and is aiming at the next level of growth and innovation with this acquisition. Analysts believe that the buyout of Topsy could help Apple better understand what people are talking about on social media networks like Twitter. 

According to sources, Topsy Labs, co-founded in 2007 by Vipul Ved Prakash, Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, both techies of Indian-origin alongside, Gary Iwatani and Justin Foutts. Topsy focuses on analyzing over half a billion messages sent over Twitter every day. The company has indexed every tweet ever sent and has made them searchable, much like Google does for the Web. The company also helps clients analyze tweets for various business trends, according to a report.

Apple has undeniably made a fortune making hardware, but when it comes to online or social services, it has not succeeded in the past. For example, Ping, the company’s social network for finding music died an untimely death.  But all that seems to be changing now as the company is building social and analytics expertise with this buyout .

As Topsy’s expertise lies in searching and indexing the vast amounts of unstructured content that make up Twitter, Apple could use Topsy’s data analysis to track popular trends on social media and make better recommendations for things like finding apps, music and movies to buy, or perhaps finding content to watch with a future TV service, states Ross Rubin, an independent analyst for Reticle Research in a recent media interaction.

In October 2012, Topsy executives described a project for which they tracked sentiments on Twitter on  Apple iPhone 4S. Tapping on to this social media expertise can therefore help Apple report stronger sales figure in the coming quarters.