Apple Unceremoniously Shuts Down Topsy

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Shuts Down Topsy & Redirects It To iOS Search Help Page.

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. For the unfamiliar, San Francisco-based Topsy Labs specializes in the analysis of data from Twitter, which allows it to trace patterns of customer likes and, therefore, offer insights on several topics.The Twitter data specialist was purchased by Apple in 2013 and has now ceased independent operations with an announcement on Twitter saying “we’ve searched our last tweet.” The website is no longer active, instead forwarding visitors on to an Apple Support Document explaining iOS 9 search capabilities, including new features like proactive Siri Suggestions. 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. Its technology is also likely to prove useful in helping Apple develop backend features in iOS 9 such as Siri Suggestions which integrates geolocation data with data providers such as Yelp! to surface nearby places of interest. 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.

Prior to the shutdown, Topsy provided aggregation and high-level analysis of tweets and other Twitter data to break down market trends in real time to measure an ad campaign’s effectiveness. 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. It’s still not entirely clear what Apple has used Topsy for, though the above redirect suggests that its technology can be found in iOS 9’s powerful search function. Writing at the time of Apple’s acquisition, TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino speculated that the underlying technology could be used to improve search with the App Store, and more: If I had to hazard a guess, this might be related to Apple building out the relevancy engine of its App and iTunes Stores. 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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