In one of the most recent technological acquisitions Apple brought over Topsy Labs, a Twitter analytics tool. The start up company that helps curate and break down data on Twitter, can help understand consumer trends, general opinions, observe market changes etc.
So what really is Topsy?
In an earlier interview with dna, co-founder Rishab Ghosh explained, “The data generated from social media can be incredibly powerful. Tweets can provide critical early alerts for breaking news and unique perspectives on what is happening on the ground.”
The start up website centers its work around social networking site Twitter, “We think of Twitter as an information source—but it can also be a powerful tool for delivering aid during natural disasters. When natural disasters strike, people tweet updates on local conditions, warn others of potential dangers, alert authorities to crisis situations, and act as an on-the-ground source for news media organisations,” he explains.
With the rise of social media and its importance in accurate content curation, Twitter is an extremely crucial resource for media and news houses, marketing and advertising professionals. Topsy was created to facilitate this exact need, recognising the complexity of manual search to find relevant tweets. Ghosh points out, “Twitter provides a massive amount of useful real-time information. Finding the right data in a breaking news situation can be difficult with hundreds of millions of tweets being published each day.”
“Topsy helps organisations like media outlets and aid agencies separate the signal from the noise by surfacing relevant terms, hashtags, content, influencers and more in real time. With Topsy, users curate this information according to a keyword, user, or more specific time period—allowing for real-time focus on any topic,” he elaborates.
So how is it different than the usual search mechanisms? “For one, Google does not currently surface social results via search. Social search and analytics should work hand-in-hand with traditional search engines, which are designed to index web pages rather than social content. Traditional search engines are extremely useful for finding authoritative voices during more static moments, whereas social search can be utilised to find real-time results. Using both tools, users can paint an extremely accurate picture on nearly any topic,” explains Ghosh.
A powerful analytics tool as such can provide Apple with accurate and reliable data on not just consumer trends and opinions, but will also help track market response and changes on their products as well as that of their competitors. Analysts on BBC have even suggested that Apple could also use Topsy's technology for its own data, such as information from the App Store.