Twitter has acquired Gnip, the social data provider that has long provided access to public Twitter data, and that has deepened its relationship with the social network over the years through a series of product and partnership announcements. The acquisition will lead to Twitter offering even more of its data to Gnip’s customer base, and existing customer relationships with Gnip will continue unchanged.
Gnip offers access to historical Twitter data, and the full Twitter data firehose, but it also offers APIs that provide data from other social networks including Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, Bitly and more. Gnip says that working with Twitter as a part of the company will let it “go much faster and much deeper,” and they plan to expand support to include a wider set of potential use cases in different industries.
Twitter bringing Gnip in-house makes sense because it means it has more direct control over the monetization of its own content. Gnip sells access to its bulk data to other companies, and now Twitter will be able to do the same without use of a middle man. It also means Twitter now has more alternatives to advertising in terms of revenue generators – the company can more easily sell data direct to brands about the conversations already taking place on its network than convince them to pay for ad space to try to kickstart those conversations. This is potentially bad news for other companies working in the same space as Gnip, including DataSift.
For now, it looks like Gnip will continue to operate under its own branding, and the office and team will definitely remain in Boulder, CO, where they’re currently located. As to its relationship with other network providers regarding their public data, Twitter states in the blog announcing the news that it plans to honor current customer contracts, but of course it’s always possible that those providers won’t feel comfortable offering up their firehoses to what now amounts to a competitor.