Thoughts on what’s next after the Twitter Gnip deal

Fun few weeks in the world of social analytics (or whatever you call it now – more of that ‘what do we even call this any more’ conversation another time).

Our partners in Boulder, Colorado Gnip got bought by Twitter, who we at Brandwatch also proudly partner with as a Twitter Certified Product.

Totally unexpected, totally logical. And in our little social data village, this is big news.

This makes complete sense – it continues Twitter’s strategy of buying up or clawing back control of the crucial elements of their ecosystem – buying Social TV companies like Bluefin Labs and Second Sync because TV is so crucial to them, buying TweetDeck for its high-rolling users, and this move buying their data-channel-to-market in Gnip.

If I remember correctly, Fred Wilson who had invested in Twitter and was at the time on the board, wrote back in 2010 that the company would consolidate and integrate the developments on its platform that were ‘hole-filling’. And Twitter did. This isn’t quite that, but it does feel to me like something very similar: integrating core assets that are strategically important.

So the deal is done, or at least announced, and while a lot of the detail is missing, from what we do know we feel positive about this. We know and love the Gnip guys, we recently announced our Premium API, of which part is driven by our partnership with Gnip. So far, so good.

The next question for most people was ‘what does this mean for DataSift, as Twitter’s only other data wholesaler?’. My view at the time was that is must’ve been a blow for them to hear, but that it could actually be good for them.

These were my thoughts that I chipped into an interesting management discussion – for me:

– Their major competitor has been effectively taken out of play (in the broader social data provision business).

– People in our market suddenly need someone else to solve their specialist data source problems

– So didn’t their potential customer base just expand and their competition lessen (outside of the Twitter piece)? My thought would be that this means that their data wholesaling business just got more attractive.

All speculation. And of course they have other paths open to them too that they may well prefer over data wholesaling.

By chance I saw Rob Bailey, DataSift CEO at an enjoyable Altimeter dinner last week, and he seemed happy. He’s saying that they’ve had an acceleration in enquiries and deals closing, which I believe.

Looking ahead it will be interesting to see what unfolds next with Gnip’s integration into Twitter, and with initiatives like Big Boulder.

But with the way this market is popping at the moment, it will also be interesting just to see what happens next. The action is so constant it’s like a soap opera at the moment, but with less douchebags and better acting 🙂

Which reminds me – Susan Etlinger said Silicon Valley is worth a watch. Happy viewing!

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