Twitter is buying Bluefin Labs, a company that analyzes online chatter about TV shows and companies and sells its findings, the New York Times reports. Twitter is paying nearly $100 million for Bluefin, according to a person with direct knowledge of the sale, making it the Web site’s biggest acquisition to date. The person insisted on anonymity because the terms of the deal were not disclosed publicly.
The deal suggests a new line of business for Twitter, which is under pressure to increase its revenue. Bluefin calls itself a social TV analytics company, one of many that have cropped up as Facebook and Twitter have created an instantaneous stream of commentary that helps inform television producers and distributors. Companies like CBS, which televised the Super Bowl on Sunday, pay Bluefin for information about what is being said about them online.
“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,” the Twitter chief operating officer, Ali Rowghani, said in a blog post about the deal.
In a press release Bluefin notes that “the team of Bluefinners who built this technology and brought it to the media and marketing world is an amazing crew. But we didn’t do it alone. We’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from some of the most innovative people and companies in the world of media and advertising: marketers like P&G and PepsiCo, and TV networks such as CBS, Turner Broadcasting, FOX Broadcasting, and Discovery Communication”