Twitter is bringing one of its Firehose providers in-house, announcing today that it has acquired Gnip, a longtime partner that sells social media data to companies seeking information about consumers and their behavior.
The move is seen as a indication that Twitter is looking to extract more revenue from its data. Previously, the company has left it to a limited group of third-party companies, such as Gnip, to manage the organization and reselling of Twitter data. According to its SEC filing last year, Twitter made $47 million selling that data, about 10% of its total revenue.
Boulder, Colo,-based Gnip has had a lengthy and close relationship with Twitter. In Nov. 2010, it became the first company authorized to sell the full real-time Twitter stream, known as the Firehose. It also is working with the U.S. Library of Congress on the as-yet-not-released full archive of tweets.
Gnip also sells access to full feeds of data from Tumblr, Foursquare, WordPress, Discuss and other networks, and provides API access to Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Bitly and others.
Twitter said the acquisition will help it provide better tools to understand the behavior of its users:
We believe Gnip has only begun to scratch the surface. 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. We will continue making our data available to Gnip’s growing customer base. And with the help of Gnip’s Boulder-based team, we will be extending our data platform — through Gnip and our existing public APIs — even further.