Twitter and Google snap up specialist tech firms
Cash-rich technology giants Twitter and Google have announced new takeovers of smaller, niche technology firms.
Twitter is buying long-time partner Gnip Inc in an effort to offer more insight into trends, breaking news and other data from the tweets generated by the 241 million users of the microblogging service.
Gnip, based in Boulder, Colorado, will continue to offer services to existing customers, Twitter said in a blog post yesterday. Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.
While Twitter will get a bigger share of the profit from reselling analytical data, the deal also gives it more control over strategic information gleaned from the information flowing through its network. The deal follows Apple Inc's purchase of data-analytics firm Topsy Labs Inc, which is used by companies to compile consumer sentiment on Twitter, be it responses to TV shows or politics.
Topsy and Gnip are among the few partners that have real-time access to the public messages that roll across Twitter, called the firehose.
"These public tweets can reveal a wide variety of insights – so much so that academic institutions, journalists, marketers, brands, politicians and developers regularly use aggregated Twitter data to spot trends, analyse sentiment, find breaking news, connect with customers and much more," Twitter said in the blog post.
Meanwhile Google has acquired solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace as the web giant ramps up plans to deliver wireless internet access to remote parts of the world.
The 20-person company will remain in New Mexico for the foreseeable future with all employees joining Google.
Titan is developing a variety of solar-powered "atmospheric satellites," according to the company's website, with initial commercial operations slated for 2015.
The drones fly at an altitude of 65,000ft and have a 165ft wingspan, slightly shorter than that of a Boeing 777.
(Bloomberg and Reuters)