Topsy specializes in data from Twitter, offering tools to analyze tweets and other information to help track consumer sentiment. 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.
Apple commented with its typical statement on acquisitions saying, "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
It's unclear how Apple will use Topsy. It's suggested that perhaps its data could alert iTunes Radio customers of popular songs or be used to sell targeted advertising, giving iAd a boost.