DataSift, a big data business intelligence and analysis platform for Twitter, is finally opening its doors today to the U.S. public. DataSift was born out of Tweetmeme and was announced at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco a year ago. Founded by Nick Halstead, DatSift is one of two companies with rights to re-syndicate Twitter’s firehose of more than 250 million Tweets a day (the other one is Gnip).
Developers, businesses and organizations can essentially use DataSift to mine the Twitter firehose of social data. But what makes DataSift special (besides the premier access to Twitter data) is that it can then filter this social media data for demographic information, online influence and sentiment, either positive or negative.
Because DataSift can search for Twitter posts and information using metadata contained in Tweets, the possibilities of mining data at a very specific level are endless. DataSift does not limit searches based on keywords and allows companies of any size to define extremely complex filters, including location, gender, sentiment, language, and even influence based on Klout score, to provide quick and very specific insight and analysis. DataSift’s technology can also apply the data filtering process to any content that is represented as a link within the post itself.
For example, a users could see all the Tweets from Twitter profiles that include the words ‘dog lover’ in the description. Users could then segment that data by geography, sentiment, gender and more.
Because of the company’s vast insights into the Twitter stream, a number of businesses have already started expressing interest in testing out products that mine this data. Clients in the social media monitoring, financial services, healthcare, retail, politics, TV and news media are all using DataSift’s API.
In terms of pricing, DataSift features a cloud-based pricing model with pay-as-
you-go or subscription options. The company says a startup can start using DataSift for as little as $200 per month.
Of course, the hope is that Twitter won’t enter this data syndication market itself. DataSift has a long-term contract with Twitter, but as we’ve written in the past, that doesn’t guarantee Twitter won’t replicate any services it sees to be especially profitable. On the other hand, if DataSift makes this work, it could become an acquisition target for Twitter.
For now, however, DataSift has the support of Twitter. Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform at Twitter, said of the company’s launch: “DataSift’s expansion shows the market for insights into Twitter’s real-time data is growing and producing
thriving businesses…Now, more developers than ever can meet increasing market demands by filtering 250 million tweets a day into instantly actionable information.”
At launch, DataSift also parses social data from MySpace, and a number of forums. The company plans to add stream data from Google+ and Facebook in next 30 to 60 days.
Newly appointed CEO Rob Bailey (a fomer Yahoo bizdev exec who most recently served as VP of Business Development at SimpleGeo) tell us that the company is trying to “go deep before we go broad” and already provides massive insight to customers with the current amount of data available via the platform.
DataSift, which just opened its opened its headquarters in San Francisco, recently raised $6 million in funding from GRP and IA Ventures. The company also counts the Guardian and BBC as clients.