Twitter acquires social data provider Gnip

Gnip will continue to work with other clients, while getting deeper access to the Twitter firehose

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 15, 2014
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For the big social networks, having a huge amount of data is just the first part of the equation. It's what they do with all of the information that people supply them with that counts. Twitter and Facebook have so much data coming in that they need companies who can sift through all of it, and find out what is important, so that it can be sold to third parties.

For Twitter, one of the companies it has worked with over the years to analyze, and resell, its data is Gnip. Now the two companies are going to deepen that partnership.

Gnip has been acquired by Twitter, it was announced on Tuesday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it sounds as though Gnip will remain indendepent, and that it will still continue to serve its other customers, while, at the same time, entering into a much closer relationship with Twitter and its data.

"This acquisition signals clear recognition that investments in social data are healthier than ever. Our customers can continue to build and innovate on one of the world’s largest and most trusted providers of social data and the foundation for innovation is now even stronger," Chris Moody, CEO of Gnip, wrote in a blog post.

"We will continue to serve you with the best data products available and will be introducing new offerings with Twitter to better meet your needs and help you continue to deliver truly innovative solutions."

Gnip is a social data provider that offers APIs that provide data from social networks including Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, Bitly and, of course, Twitter. The company currently delivers social data to customers in more than 40 countries, and Gnip’s customers deliver social media analytics to more than 95% of the Fortune 500. 

The company first partnered with Twitter four years ago and has since delivered more than 2.3 trillion Tweets to customers in 42 countries, Moody said. The company has also worked with a number of other social networks, including Tumblr, Foursquare, WordPress, Disqus and StockTwits.  

By joining Twitter, Moody wrote, it provides Gnip with "access to resources and infrastructure to scale to the next level and offer new products and solutions."

Founded in 2008, Gnip raised over $6 million, including $2 million from Foundry Group and First Round Capital in November 2010.

On Twitter's end, there is an obvious benefit to picking up a service like Gnip: it can work directly with its customers, find out what they are looking for, and deliver it to them without having to go through a middle man.

"Together we plan to offer more sophisticated data sets and better data enrichments, so that even more developers and businesses big and small around the world can drive innovation using the unique content that is shared on Twitter," Jana Messerschmidt, VP of Global Business Development & Platform at Twitter, wrote in a blog post

With Gnip, she said, " we will be extending our data platform — through Gnip and our existing public APIs — even further."

This is Twitter's fourth acquisition this year. In March it picked up Mesagraph, a French real-time search and discovery platform for social media, and SecondSync, a provider of social TV analytics solutions to the UK TV and Advertising industries.

Earlier this month Twitter bought Cover, an Android lockscreen that suggests apps to the user that they are most likely to want to access based on their surrounding environment.

Other data mining/data analytics acquisitions

Gnip is just the latest data mining company to be acquired this year.

In January, audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG bought analytical solutions company Link Analytics. Then, in February, LinkedIn purchased data insight company Bright for $120 million. 

In March, Dell purchased StatSoft, a provider of advanced analytics solutions that deliver a wide range of data mining, predictive analytics and data visualization capabilities.

VatorNews has reached out to Twitter for further comment but a spokesperson for the company would not elaborate beyond the blog post.

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