Twitter Acquires Gnip, Steps Up Data Game

By Kirsten Williams

Twitter announced on April 15 that it is acquiring its data partner Gnip, one of the four companies with current access to Twitter’s “firehose” of tweet data. Founded in 2008, Gnip was the first official reseller of Twitter data. Alongside competitors Datasift and Topsy, Gnip also analyzes data from Yahoo, Tumblr, Foursquare and Facebook.

Listening to over 500 million tweets a day, Gnip packages and resells its findings to businesses interested in their Twitter footprints. The acquisition of the data company poses an abundance of targeting and data-driven opportunities for newly public Twitter. It is also an indication of Twitter’s eagerness to play a larger role in analyzing conversation in order to provide clients with robust social insights.

This acquisition will give Twitter a larger share of data licensing profits ($23M reported in Q4), deeper insight into its data and additional monetization opportunities. Following Apple’s purchase of competitor Topsy Labs, Inc. last year for north of $200M, the Twitter platform has already established itself as a powerful resource; however, this move will make it even more valuable to advertisers who are willing to pay top dollar for sophisticated targeting solutions.

Similarly to Twitter, Gnip will reap numerous benefits from this union. “Joining Twitter also provides us access to resources and infrastructure to scale to the next level and offer new products and solutions,” said Gnip CEO Chris Moody.

Twitter has been steadily rolling out new ad products, expanding their direct response ad capabilities with products such as app-install ads. We expect Twitter to apply Gnip’s targeting, data and tracking capabilities to product releases and updates in the near future.

Kirsten WilliamsKirsten Williams is a Strategic Investment Planner at Neo@Ogilvy in New York.






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