Twitter to Buy Social Data Processing Startup

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July 5, 2011 – Twitter is looking to increase its social data processing capabilities with the announced acquisition of BackType, a San Francisco social media analytics startup.

BackType tools rate, link and follow engagement for publishers with their social platforms like Twitter. BackType stated Twitter plans to implement its offerings like Storm, a real-time processing system it likened to Hadoop in its capabilities with handling large streams of data from varying sources. The BackTweets product will now be offered to current users for free, thought they will not accept any new registrations for BackTweets and plan to discontinue the BackType product and API services, according to a news release.

Through its public relations feed, Twitter wrote that under its ownership BackType would create tools for its publisher partners.

Howard Dresner, head analyst with Dresner Advisory Services, says the deal underscores the money seen by many in harnessing direct customer information and behaviors. More than that, he says that Twitter has a specific advantage in mining data with in-house and BackType’s offerings because of their 140 character messaging limit.

“Arguably, Twitter has more data about attitudes and opinions than most anyone else out there and it’s pretty much real-time,” he says. “[Twitter has] tremendous opportunities to leverage into revenues for market intelligence, one-to-one marketing, etcetera.”

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. BackType will move its offices to Twitter headquarters.

The proposed deal comes on the same day that the Wall Street Journal reported Twitter’s worth, following another round of financing, at about $7 billion.

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