Apple has bought social media analytics firm Topsy Labs for a reputed $200 milliom.
Topsy, which has unlimited access to archived and real-time tweet streams from Twitter's 100s of million users, has been bidding to sell its analytics output to investors looking for guidance on stock-price moves.
The firm made a pitch to financial services firm last January after demonstrating impressive market-beating results on Netflix and Apple stock.
It cited the dip in Apple stock after the preview release of the iPhone 4S in October 20111, when analysts, swayed by negative media comment, knocked five per cent off the share price on the opening bell.
Topsy's analysis, however, found more positive sentiment being expressed by potential consumers on Twitter. When the phone was released ten days later, more than 1 million devices were sold in the first 24 hours. By the end of the opening weekend, Apple had sold 4 million iPhone 4S devices, driving the company's stock price skyward.
Says Topsy: "Since consumers, not analysts, are those who actually drive revenue for the iPhone, traders would have really benefited from getting this kind of insight into consumer opinion."
The results clearly impressed Apple, which is likely to use the service to monitor brand and product sentiment across the Web, and to apply the Topsy API to its own data to drive deeper insights into consumer spending and product sales.