Posted by: Brooks Siegel
Recently the Apple Corporation purchased a Twitter analytical firm named Topsy. Topsy provides in depth analysis of anything Twitter related. Anything from trending topics, patterns of behavior, or grass roots ideas; Topsy has a hand in analyzing such Twitter data. Topsy also keeps an inventory of any Tweet that has existed to provide a thorough database for research and reference. What is interesting about the purchase however is Apple’s motive.
Historically Apple has shied away from most things social. While they produce products that are compatible with our digital social world, they really have not immersed themselves into the arena just yet. One current speculation for the sale is that Apple indeed wishes to inject themselves into social mediums and provide a bigger footprint on platforms such as Twitter. By adding Topsy to their repertoire Apple may now have an inside track on what is actually being said and thought about around the world. They will no longer have to outsource for data regarding Twitter patterns and they will now have a firm that is very experienced and successful in analyzing patterns for which many firms have relied on in the past. The fact is that Apple is a business looking for an edge to stay profitable. A $200 million investment of this nature could very well be a smart move for Apple to not only stay in the know but also to be on the cutting edge of social trends around the world. Apple has always prided itself on being cutting edge through the designs of their products and the technology they provide. If they can combine their old model with a social media overhaul, this healthy company will be even that much more to deal with.
Another possible reason for the purchase of Topsy is merely to enhance what Apple already has. Currently Itunes, Apple’s radio products, Apple Genius, and Siri all in one way or another attempt to provide recommendations to its users. When Apple combines with Topsy its services will most likely be able to provide a much more relevant and profitable recommendation for Apple users. If Apple is able to get into consumers heads more then they already have, it can only mean good things for the hardware giant.
Whatever the reason for the purchase of Topsy, I see no negative for Apple. In the past industry experts have gone against some of the practices of Apple. During these same times the Twitter’s of the world have praised Apple for the same practices. Maybe Apple is merely trying to tap into a more observant and influential set of data.
The $200 million acquisition is a drop in the bucket for the giant that is Apple. This “bolt-on” acquisition as Apple calls it is just another way for the company to provide a more diverse product that its consumers will enjoy and pay for. Apple has proven that it needs help on this front stemming from their failed project of Ping. Ping was really one of Apple’s few attempts at synergizing its products with social recommendations. Hopefully for Apple… Topsy will keep them on top.