Although the exact purposes behind Apple’s recently announced acquisition of social media data firm, Topsy, remains unknown, the acquired company is one of a handful of firms with access to exclusive data from Twitter – something that Google doesn’t have. Google formerly had access to detailed Twitter data but the agreement between the two companies was severed in 2012. Twitter continued to maintain partnerships with its so-called “firehose” of data with smaller search partners such as Microsoft’s Bing, which announced an extended agreement with Twitter in November.
With its confirmed purchase of Topsy, Apple enters into an exclusive club of companies with access to highly detailed data from Twitter. Apple is now alongside Gnip, Data Sift and NTT Data with Topsy being one of four “certified data resellers” with exclusive rights to collect and resell Twitter Data according to The Wall Street Journal. The four companies are responsible for the majority of the social networking site’s data revenue.
Companies such as Topsy can resell the data to “hundreds of smaller software analytics firms” according to the report. To maintain the relationship the companies have with Twitter, they must audit their clients, ensure that user’s real names aren’t revealed and help crack down on spam on the site. Reporter Elizabeth Dwoskin wrote the following about the matter:
Though Twitter's data is public, the sheer volume of tweets — roughly 500 million a day — means that only companies with sophisticated software and storage capabilities can analyze it.
Ultimately we’ll have to wait and see how Apple makes use of its acquisition of Topsy by being patient.
Source: The Wall Street Journal via AppleInsider