Apple acquired social analytics firm Topsy from Twitter, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Monday, which cited people familiar with the transaction.
Topsy is one of several companies that focuses on gathering and parsing data from Twitter, allowing customers to tap into more than 425 million tweets from 2006 onwards to look for trends. Competitors include DataSift and Gnip, but Topsy’s tools, including a topic and trends search engine, make it one of the more popular options, notes TechCrunch.
While there was no word on why Apple would acquire Topsy, several publications, including The Verge, suggested the tech company could use Topsy’s data to better target ads, inform users about its products, or to tap into “of-the-moment interests.”
The Journal reported in 2009 that Topsy could eventually expand from Twitter into analyzing other sources of data. So, it’s possible Apple wants technology Topsy has for use in one or more of its products, including the app store. The original article points to iTunes Radio ads and the iAd platform for other possible uses.
While details of the acquisition aren’t known, and an official announcement wasn’t made, the Journal reports Apple purchased Topsy for more than $200 million.