In 2006, Google acquired the exclusive rights to a search algorithm called Orion. They outbid Yahoo and Microsoft on the deal, which was the PhD work of a 26-year-old University of New South Wales student named Ori Allon. Allon went on to work for Google, integrating his system into their main search algorithm, where it still plays a key role. Allon left in 2010 to found a new startup, Julpan. It didn’t take long for someone to scoop him up again.
Twitter has just announced that they’ve acquired Julpan for an undisclosed sum. The startup focuses on analyzing social information that is shared on social services like Twitter, so this is a natural fit. This will enable Twitter to come up with ways to surface relevant content to users as more and more of it keeps flowing into the system. Twitter has recently stated that this is a key area of focus.
Twitter is acquiring both the technology and the full team of roughly 12. They will work out of Twitter’s New York office (where Julpan has been based).
Allon will become a director of engineering at Twitter. He writes on Julpan’s site:
I am very proud to announce that Julpan has been acquired by Twitter.
We founded Julpan more than a year ago. In that time we’ve created innovative, early-alpha-stage search technology that analyzes social activity across the Web to deliver fresh and relevant content to users.
Twitter houses an industry-leading engineering team that is tackling some of the Internet’s most interesting opportunities. With more than 230 million Tweets per day on every subject imaginable, Twitter gives us a chance to make an even greater contribution toward instantly bringing people closer to what is most meaningful to them. We look forward to joining forces with Twitter’s engineering team to explore how we can best integrate and optimize Julpan’s innovations.
I’d like to personally thank the talented engineers, architects and designers of Julpan. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people with whom to invent some of the world’s best social search technology.