Apple takes first bite at social networking analytics
Madan Sheina, Lead Analyst, Software – Information Management
Apple has acquired social networking search and analytics start-up Topsy Labs to higher understand the requirements of customers of their smartphone and tablet products and cloud services. Topsy is an expert in examining the Twittersphere in realtime, gleaning customer sentiment and trends for example most-frequently-tweeted terms, key influencers on specific subjects, and response to marketing campaigns.
A number of Topsy’s abilities could be pressed into Apple’s core items to boost its consumer propositions. However with Topsy, among the couple of companies with fortunate use of all Twitter’s data, now under its wing, Apple may be signaling a restored push in to the enterprise. An area that stands to profit may be the delivery of overflowing location-specific services, travelled into an analytically driven social context.
The deepest access to Twitter data in the market
As Apple comes more and more under fire in certain of their bread-and-butter consumer marketplaces, the organization could certainly take advantage of a far more granular and forward-searching look at what its customer interests are and just how public conversations and opinion about Apple and it is services are trending. Eavesdropping channels like Twitter is an excellent method to accomplish this.
Topsy evolves technology that effectively plumbs Twitter data to watch and evaluate user activity and sentiment. Considerably, Topsy is among a number of partners which have been granted use of Twitter’s full tweet stream (“fire hose”), which now earnings roughly 500 million tweets each day – a treasure chest of information screaming to become looked and analytically found for valuable information in realtime for various reasons, including monetization by selling it to partners and clients.
Topsy is promoting some fairly sophisticated calculations that may sharpen on specific terms, hashtags, and trends within the Twitter fire hose and evaluate them against precise metrics.
Given its fortunate use of Twitter’s full stream of information, it’s likely Topsy carefully consulted Twitter before relinquishing control to Apple. Twitter is going to be keen for companies to carry on to refine Topsy’s analytics because it, curiously, doesn’t (yet) possess the capacity itself to get this done type of search and analysis.
Helping Apple and its partners smarten up online marketeering
Apple typically achieves this-known as “bolt-on” technology acquisitions – i.e. small deals that may present an immediate feature, service, or enhancement to the hardware clients, instead of individuals that merely give a specific service it may access – that will get built-into existing or future items. However, there is not a obvious implication or indication for which Apple holds for Topsy’s technology at this time, and just how it’ll exactly be relevant to its product.
Ovum thinks it will likely be accustomed to enhance several Apple services. For instance, Topsy analysis might have the ability to recommend and push relevant media happy to iTunes Radio customers, refine Siri’s search methodology to locate programs easier, or monitor social networking conversations around its items they are driving more targeted marketing campaigns.
Delivering richer, greater social-based location experience for users
Owning Topsy and it is use of Twitter data and it is experience of interpreting that data will enhance Apple’s capability to create greater-value and greater-quality location-specific services and encounters to the customers. Indeed, Apple has labored hard in the last few years to build up its very own location services – underscored by its decision to jettison Google Maps in the core of iOS this past year (driven partly by Apple-Android patent battles) and develop its very own in-house alternative, which despite a rocky launch if this shipped with iOS 6 this past year, has since stabilized.
Particularly, a current advancement in Topsy would be a geo-location monitoring ability, using landmark or local event markers to trace where tweets originate.
Topsy also pairs well along with other location-based technologies that Apple has acquired – particularly Locationary (a large Data start-track of a platform to parse, merge, and evaluate data about local companies and sights), Hopstop.com and Embark (which concentrate on navigation using mass transit systems), and iBeacons (for micro-level indoor closeness data).
Showing its very own effective finish-to-finish location system requires lots of contextual information that guides the hypothetical user through a number of choices which are informed by data from a number of sources. Therefore, Apple not just needs to try to integrate many of these location assets into both iOS 7 and Mavericks, but additionally additional contextual information for example calendar information and data about local companies.
Signaling a bigger enterprise social media play
Topsy is definitely an unusual buy for a hardware-focused company which has made couple of forays into social networking networking, although with mixed results: while its Ping music-discussing service significantly folded following a cold response from customers, Apple makes solid moves to really make it simpler for Apple device customers to talk about photos and messages on social systems. However it remains unclear how deeply Apple really wants to make use of social networking and employ Topsy’s data like a launchpad for social networking integration of their iOS platform – although other device producers make social networking integration an item of differentiation.
Topsy might be a learning exercise for Apple. If effective, Topsy’s technology and engineers is possibly offer use for larger analytic initiatives that make use of other large data sets to extract larger and more potent information. While Apple is constantly on the earmark the customer market, it might also employ Topsy’s technology to create some headway into enterprise programs, particularly using its flagship productivity suite iWork.
Topsy’s technology could drive further integration between iOS and social networking with techniques that may pique the eye of cost-conscious medium and small-sized companies (SMBs). In lots of ways the process to integrate these abilities in to the Safari browser could mirror how Google has gone to live in integrate Google Analytics in the Chrome ecosystem and lure third-party designers to supply plug-in social networking monitoring services. And when implemented properly, it might even create Apple to forge a brand new market – the consumerization of massive Data. But that’s possibly searching too much to return.