Apple has spent over $200 million acquiring Topsy Labs Inc, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today, giving Cupertino access to the social media analytics company’s data and its treasure trove of tweets. Topsy, which offers a number of services including what it calls “a search engine powered by tweets,” has also recorded every public message posted to Twitter since the site launched in 2006. Now Apple has access to that data, though what it plans to do with it remains unclear.
Cupertino confirmed its purchase of Topsy to WSJ, but wouldn’t reveal why. The start-up also offers real-time information on Twitter trending topics and links, which Apple could integrate into its own services. That could mean updated versions of iTunes Radio, Siri or even the App Store that factor in Twitter trends to deliver the most relevant information.
In total, Topsy boasts over 475 billion tweets, videos, pictures and other pieces of content in its database. Based on initial reports, there’s no indication that Apple will shut down Topsy’s public service or wall it off, though this could change in the future.