Apple Buys Social-Media Analytics Firm Topsy Labs

The company has worked with Hollywood studios and last year helped to determine sentiment around the Oscars and the presidential election.

Apple has purchased Topsy Labs, a company that monitors and analyzes social media, according to several reports on Monday.

Topsy is perhaps chiefly known as one of Twitter’s few “certified data resellers,” meaning it can use its technology to sift through 500 million tweets a day in order to analyze trends, The Wall Street Journal said Monday.

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Hollywood studios have used Topsy to help make box-office predictions, and it has partnered with Twitter to track sentiment around last year’s Oscar race and presidential election.

Apple did not disclose how much it paid for Topsy, which is based in San Francisco and has raised $32 million from investors in its six-year history. The Journal, citing people familiar with the acquisition, said the price was north of $200 million.

The company was founded by Vipul Ved Prakash, a former Napster engineer, and is run by CEO Duncan Greatwood, a former Cicso Systems executive.

Beyond the detailed analytics that it provides to paying customers, Topsy also offers a smattering of data at its website, such as a list of “Top 100” tweets, which on Monday included one from Lady Gaga praising Oprah Winfrey, one from Entertainment Tonight teasing a Justin Bieber video and one from the Twitter account of deceased actor Paul Walker that reads: “In lieu of flowers or other gifts, Paul Walker’s family asks that donations be made to his charity Reach Out Worldwide.”