The news was initially given unofficially by the Wall Street Journal, which reported it as a matter of fact, and was later officially confirmed: Apple has acquistto Topsy, to be precise Topsy Labs, Inc., a company that deals with research and analysis in social networks, particularly Twitter, of which is a certified partner. It seems that Apple has paid over $200 million for this acquisition.
Topsy was founded in 2007 receiving funding from various investors for more than $27 million. Its best known activity is with Twitter being one of its certified partners. With access to what in the jargon is called “fire hose”, meaning the entire stream of tweets from 2006, the company can analyze the information contained in them and sell the results to its customers.
Topsy also created a real search engine which in some ways can be considered the equivalent of Google’s for social networks. In fact, it allows you to search not the websites but public posts on social networks, especially Twitter and Google+.
As soon as the news of this acquisition was leaked, many have wondered why Apple is paying so much money for Topsy. No details have come from Apple, whose spokesman just said the company generally doesn’t discuss purpose or plans. Therefore we can only speculate.
Various analysts have offered several possible explanations. One possibility is that Topsy’s analyzes could help Apple recommend songs, movies and TV shows to users of its iTunes service. Other services such as the Siri voice assistant and the iAd advertising platform could benefit in several ways from those analyzes.
The various guesses are basically variations of these possibilities. In the end, the point of this acquisition could be in the ability to analyze popularity trends in the fields of music, cinema and television to optimize the offerings of its services. These analyzes could help Apple not only directly but also by offering them to its customers who purchase advertising through the company’s services.