Twitter buys TV analytics firm Bluefin
Twitter has made one of its largest acquisitions to date with Bluefin Labs, to help its advertisers better understand the link between traditional and social media.
Last weekend's unexpected twist to the Super Bowl underlines the symbiotic nature of Twitter and television: a mid-game power outage prompted confusion in the New Orleans Superdome but swift and witty responses on Twitter from brands such as Walgreens and Oreo cookies. Twitter said that it took just four minutes for the first advertiser to buy a "Promoted Tweet" against searches for "power outage".
"It is hard to ignore the event as a win for social TV," Steve Hasker, president of global media products and advertiser solutions at Nielsen, the media measurement firm, wrote in a blogpost on Tuesday. "When the lights went out in half of the stadium, the audience turned to Twitter."
The incident has also been seen as an endorsement of Twitter's real-time value during live events over its chief rival, Facebook. Keen to drive home this advantage, Twitter in December struck a deal with Nielsen to help it create a television ratings system based on activity on the site. The system will help media companies and marketers determine the commercial value of a show by calculating the number of people who tweet about a programme as well as the number of people who see those messages.
Now, it is spending tens of millions of dollars to acquire Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Bluefin. "We believe that Bluefin's data science capabilities and social TV expertise will help us create innovative new ad products and consumer experiences in the exciting intersection of Twitter and TV," Twitter's chief operating officer, Ali Rowghani, wrote in a blog post. - (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013)