Apple Buys Topsy, Eyes Social Media

Apple confirmed that it had bought Topsy Labs, a research company that could help Apple better understand what people are talking about on social media networks like Twitter. While Apple has built some of its software to work with Twitter’s service, it remained unclear why a hardware maker like Apple would be interested in Topsy. While the relevance of the buyout to Apple is still in question, one reason for acquisition is estimated to be a better understanding of the use and integration of social media in the development of their flagship internet browser, Safari.

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It is not strange that Apple stays under covers about its products and services and has a strict no-disclosure policy about its products that a lot of other companies boast about – like processors and the make of RAMs they are using in their devices. It is this secrecy that had given Apple its elitist air that it rides on (irrespective of the design being at the forefront). Apple is not known for being social – rather, it is known for being buttoned up about everything it does. Acquiring Topsy could just mean that Apple wants to eavesdrop on the public and their opinion about Apple and its services on social media but that looks unlikely. The buy-out is an absurd one just because Topsy doesn’t fit in the Apple’s current operational gamut.

Apple typically buys companies that can offer an immediate feature, service or enhancement to its hardware customers. It does not acquire companies that simply provide it with a particular service that it could access without owning them. This includes component makers and partners like Foxconn or Yahoo. Is Apple planning a social media integration of its iOS platform? A lot of device manufacturers do make the social media integration a point of USP; but does Apple really need that? Speculators are also talking about Apple being interested in location specific trends, now that it is entering newer markets like India. The iPad buy back scheme is also an example of non-traditional move by Apple.

 

Image Source | dbth

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