Two years after acquisition, Apple shuts social analytics platform Topsy

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.When you are as cash rich as Apple, it would make plenty of sense to purchase a company that has the tools that you require, rather than kicking off a Research & Development initiative from scratch. The San Francisco-based company housed a massive amount of Twitter data; it indexed the site’s complete archive of public tweets — dating back to 2006 — in an effort to make it easier for users to search through their archives. 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.

The other plus point of being cash rich is this – it should not matter if you happen to burn a couple of hundred million dollars, as it is a drop in the bucket for you. 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. As 9to5 Mac pointed out, the introduction of iOS 9 came with a new “Proactive” search that taps Siri, Contacts, Calendar, Passbook, and third-party apps for a deeper search experience.

When Topsy was still operational, it went about analyzing Twitter while providing insights on tweets, users, and events, and such information was repackaged and resold to customers. 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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