“Apple Inc. has acquired social-media analytics firm Topsy Labs Inc. for more than $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter,” Daisuke Wakabayashi and Douglas Macmillan report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Topsy specializes in data from Twitter, offering tools to analyze tweets and other information to help track consumer sentiment,” Wakabayashi and Macmillan report. “Its tools can decipher how often a specific term is tweeted, find an influential person on a specific subject, or measure the exposure of an event or campaign. The company is one of a handful of Twitter’s partners who have access to the so-called ‘firehose’ — the full stream of all tweets posted to the service. Topsy competes with DataSift Inc. and Gnip Inc. to analyze and resell this data to customers.”

“It’s unclear how Apple plans to use Topsy. There may be opportunities to link Topsy’s technology with Apple’s iTunes Radio, an online-streaming-music competitor to Pandora Media Inc. and Spotify AB. One possible scenario would use data from Topsy to alert listeners to songs that are trending or artists being discussed on Twitter,” Wakabayashi and Macmillan report. “Topsy also could provide marketers with real-time data to sell targeted advertising on iTunes radio.”

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