April 15, 2014, 12:05 PM

Twitter buys a social data vendor

The social network says acquiring Gnip will help companies better understand what consumers and other brands are saying across Twitter.

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Twitter Inc. has bought social data vendor Gnip in a move aimed at helping companies better understand what consumers and other brands are saying on the social network.

Gnip helps companies monitor and analyze tweets, as well posts on other social networks, such as Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram. The vendor’s tools let marketers dig through social media streams by attributes like keywords, trends and locations.

“Together we plan to offer more sophisticated data sets and better data enrichments, so that even more developers and businesses big and small around the world can drive innovation using the unique content that is shared on Twitter,” Jana Messerschmidt, Twitter’s vice president, global business development and platform, writes in a blog post.

The acquisition appears to be a sign the social network is pivoting away from licensing its data to vendors, like Gnip, to analyze. Twitter earned $70.3 million last year from licensing its data.

Gnip says it has delivered more than 2.3 trillion tweets to customers in 42 countries who use its tools to provide insights to industries ranging from marketing and business intelligence to finance and public relations.

Twitter says it will continue to make its data available to Gnip's customer base and will also use Gnip's staff to bolster its own data platform.

Twitter, which announced the acquisition today, did not disclose the price it paid for Gnip.

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