Tech giant Apple has acquired Topsy Labs, a company that specialises in analysing Twitter data to track consumer opinion.
The analytics company is one of just a few with access to all of Twitter’s data stream.
Recently, the firm created a searchable archive containing all of the 400 billion tweets sent since the micro-blogging site launched in 2006.
While Apple chose not to confirm how much it paid for Topsy Labs, the Wall Street Journal – the first publication to report on the story – placed the figure at around £122m.
Topsy Labs’ technology works to determine such factors as Twitter’s most influential users, which terms are currently trending and what kind of impact specific campaigns have on the site.
The deal is Apple’s second acquisition in as many months; in November it bought PrimeSense, an Israel-based motion sensor technology company.
Although Apple currently ranks among the biggest names in the tech sector – last month, Forbes found that the Californian company is now the world’s most valuable brand – it isn’t known for its forays into the social sphere.
Speaking about the announcement, Manoj Menon, managing director of Frost & Sullivan, said that companies all over the world are seeking ways to tap into customers’ use of social media – and Apple is one of them.
It’s certainly true that a strong presence on social sites can greatly affect the way a brand in any sector is perceived. Internet marketing specialists will often implement a broad strategy, engaging with consumers for the dual purpose of improving customer service while increasing conversion rates.