The purchase of Bluefin Labs is understood to be Twitter’s biggest acquisition to date as it looks to bolster its in-house research arm and boost revenue from the chatter around popular TV content, according to a report by US news site Business Insider.
Bluefin Labs provides real time analytics to brands to explain the success of their TV ads and content based on social media conversations.
The company uses semantic technology to match words used in social media with the content in the shows and ads, meaning Twitter could target ads at that kind of content users are actually talking about – rather than just keywords such as programme titles – once the acquisition goes through.
Bluefin can also provide Twitter with information to present to marketers such as which brands are discussed most on social media during big events, such as The Super Bowl or The Olympics, so they can evaluate the social buzz created by their TV campaigns.
Twitter has already been beefing up its TV arm in recent months as it looks to further monetise the second screen experience by helping brands pay for promoted products to target users watching certain programmes and to enhance TV advertising.
The company hired veteran TV executive Fred Graver as its head of TV last summer and in December signed an exclusive agreement with Nielsen to establish a social TV rating for the US market, which will establish a metric around the reach of the TV conversation on the platform.
It is not clear how the Bluefin acquisition will affect Twitter and Nielsen’s partnership, which was also understood to be expanded to the UK this year.
In January, Twitter UK released its “Tune in with Twitter” report, detailing how marketers can drive discovery and engagement by integrating their social campaigns with TV.
Twitter had not responded to a request for comment on the Bluefin acquisition at the time of publication.