“As for why Apple would want Topsy, there are a lot of guesses. It could use Topsy’s analytics to help target users for advertisers who use its iAd service It could use the buzz about apps, TV shows, music and movies to offer suggestions to iTunes users about what to buy — or what to listen to (on iTunes Radio) It mayalso use Topsy’s data to help improve its Siri voice assistance service”.

The Wall Street Journal, which reported the news first, cited people close to the deal as saying Apple paid well over $200 million. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said. Topsy, so far for its part is not responding to requests for comment. Maybe plans of critical importance are afoot? Apple has not been known for its social prowess, concentating instead on hardware. Its main efforts to date in social media has revolved around Ping, a music-centered social sharing network that was at one point integrated into its iTunes app.

It is also interesting that free trials to its pro product have been restricted and links to its paid product sections simply redirect to the home page, while links explaining its API product have been disabled. Hmm.. The acquisition comes quickly on the heels of Apple buying Israeli firm PrimeSense, which specialises in making 3-D motion detection technology. Topsy was founded by Vipul Ved Prakash, a former Napster engineer, and Duncan Greatwood, who left Cisco Systems to step into the CEO role.

Rob Bailey, CEO of DataSift, one of Topsy’s competitors, speculated Topsy might have appealed to Apple because of its expertise in searching and indexing the vast amounts of unstructured content that make up Twitter. Apple could just be planning to use the search technology to help power its Siri voice search capabilities. For now it is anyone’s guess.

Source: intelligenthq.com, 4 december 2013