What Are The Prices Practiced By G nip And Data sift Regarding Twitter
Twitter announced earlier today the acquisition of G nip, one of its partners that utilizes Twitter’s firehose of data and parses it for third companies mining the social network for market insights. What happens to the other businesses that take the firehose, is a logical follow-up question? Data Sift, the largest of them, has informed TechCrunch that everything would continue as normal for the time being.
“Our connection with Twitter has not changed,” CEO Rob Bailey told us. “We’ve worked very hard over the years to create a platform that provides value, and we think we’ve been and will continue to be an important component of the Twitter ecosystem.” This will include the syndication agreement it has with 1,000 companies in 40 countries.
He claims that Data Sift was the first business to sign a firehose and syndication agreement with Twitter, and that the two companies have a “long-term” relationship. But he wouldn’t say how long it would last, when it would expire, or how much it would cost.
He and Data Sift founder and CTO Nick Halstead also declined to disclose if Twitter had contacted them about a possible purchase. Data Sift has raised over $72 million since 2010, whereas Gnip has raised just over $6.6 million — thus it’s reasonable to infer that the price would have been substantially different if Twitter had chosen Data Sift instead.
However, the two acknowledged that, due to the nature of the transaction, Twitter did keep them in the loop before making the purchase public.
“We’ve had the longest connection with Twitter than anybody else,” Halstead said. “We have a firehose contract, and they would consult with us first.” They informed us before to making the news.” He wouldn’t specify whether that “before” was an hour, a day, a week, or a month in the future.
Unsurprisingly, Data Sift, which claims to be increasing sales at a 400% annual pace, is now touting how G nip differs from what it does.
The major distinction, according to Halstead, is that Data Sift provides a single API that covers all of the many data sources that it utilizes for its big data mining endeavor. Twitter is one of these sources, but so are Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress, Sine Weibo, LexisNexis, hundreds of news sites, and more. It’s also the only one with such a long history of data, according to Halstead.
G nip needs an API for each data source and has focused mostly on Twitter, according to Halstead.
“We are big fans of G nip, but the market difference is that Data Sift has spent four years building a massive platform where our clients just have to deal with one API,” he said. “It’s a fantastic acquisition for Twitter since G nip wants to focus only on Twitter data, while we want to focus on everything.”
Bailey declined to comment on whether he is concerned about the big data and firehose world going the way of Twitter clients, which were (in)famously cut off by Twitter in 2012 when the company decided to take a stronger grip on how people interacted with its platform and developers who simply recreated the Twitter experience were no longer as welcome as they had been.
At the time, Twitter created a kind of magic quadrant of the types of businesses it would want to collaborate with more and less in the future. In this sense, big-data analytics firms like DataSift have remained an important component of the ecosystem.
But the goalposts have shifted, perhaps because Twitter sees a real commercial opportunity in leveraging data in a better manner. (After all, revenue diversity is an essential indicator of a company’s health.) Twitter could, in principle, elect to make G nip its main firehose route. At that point, one might argue that Data Sift just offers the same experience.
Bailey replied, “It’s a fair argument, but nothing more at this time.”
“We can’t guess on Twitter’s intentions, but I believe that over the past three years, we have consistently strived to develop the platform and provide a unique experience that no one else can provide,” he added. “Half of our business is made up of engineers because we’ve been fascinated with creating value on top of data.” We were quite clear about this three years ago. We realized that if we just syndicated Twitter data, we’d go out of business. We’ve been putting in a lot of effort to execute on it.
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