Apple Just Shut Down the Best Way to Search Twitter

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Just Shut Down the Best Way to Search Twitter.

Topsy, the Twitter and general social media analytics service quietly bought by Apple for more than $200 million two years ago, closed its doors today. Topsy was a popular choice for those who analyzed social media back in the day, particularly since it was one of handful of services that gained early access to Twitter’s full data firehose. With that, you could dive deep into users’ accounts, as we did to figure out what words Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has keyed in on since launching his presidential campaign. In June, Politwoops from the Sunlight Foundation ceased operation after Twitter pulled access to its API, which allowed them to publish deleted tweets from politicians, which often turned up some real gems.

At the time, tech outlets wondered why: for its search capabilities, or for marketing advantages, or a sign of something bigger coming between Apple and Twitter? We first started hearing rumors of Topsy’s impending closure a year ago, when the company stopped allowing premium users — those who paid for additional analytics and services beyond the basic offering — to renew their accounts.

Now Topsy is no more—as the company itself announced on Tuesday night in a rather sad tweet—and Apple did not officially announce the move yet, and has not yet responded to a request for comment. Adding social signals to the search algorithms of its stores could help to improve the relevance of search results and help Apple surface apps that are hotter and more interesting to users. Pulling the thread out a bit further, it’s possible that Apple could even use the data from your Twitter feeds to recommend apps on a more personal basis, rather than ‘generically’ to everyone.

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