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Apple buys Topsy, price north of $200 million

Staff writer |
Apple has purchased Topsy, a search engine and analytics firm for tweets that's been one of Twitter's biggest partners.

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The Wall Street Journal, who first brought the story, suggests that Apple could begin using Topsy's data to better target ads, to inform users of its products about popular subjects, or to generally tap into of-the-moment interests. Apple confirmed the acquisition to the Journal, which reports that the purchase price was over $200 million.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," an Apple spokeswoman confirmed the deal without elaborating further.

Topsy recently announced the launch of a search engine for tweets that it said was capable of searching through the over 400 billion sent since Twitter first launched. Twitter doesn't provide a way to do that and it ended up relying on Topsy's data to parse through the most buzzed-about nominees for the 2013 Oscars and to capture the mood of the 2012 presidential election.

That close relationship has allowed Topsy to be one of the few companies given access to Twitter's full stream of data.

Though Topsy's focus is on Twitter for now, the company could expand into analyzing other sources of data. Thus, it is to be assumed that Apple is interested in applying Topsy's analytics technology to its own data, such as information from the App Store.

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