Apple has bought data-analytics firm Topsy Labs giving the world’s most valuable company new tools to spot trends as they emerge on Twitter's social network.
Apple reportedly paid more than $200 million (€148m) for the company.
The San Francisco-based startup’s service is used by companies to analyse consumer sentiment on Twitter, be it responses to TV shows or politics.
Topsy has real-time access to the messages that roll across the microblogging service, and can search through every tweet published since 2006.
Access to information about what is being discussed on Twitter can be integrated in any number of ways by Apple, according to Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with EMarketer.
“A key point is they are one of the few companies that has access to the Twitter fire hose and can do real-time analysis of the trends and discussions happening on Twitter,” she said.
The underlying technology Apple acquires is often used to enhance existing services or for future products.
Apple last year purchased fingerprint-security firm AuthenTec, whose technology was recently incorporated into the new iPhone 5s.
Purchases of navigation companies have been used to improve its mapping software.