Federated Media has acquired a semantics and linguistics technology platform from San Jose, Calif.-based firm TextDigger.
According to FM founder and CEO John Battelle, the company will begin using TextDigger’s set of tools to help its publishers improve their content flow and site navigation so they can ultimately create better advertising and marketing opportunities.
TextDigger boasts a proprietary platform that scans content for specific words and phrases based on context, linguistics and semantic patterns. It can deduce meaning from such data. For example, TextDigger’s technology could theoretically discern between various uses of the word “cat” — either the animal or “a hip person living in New York,” Battelle said.
That sort of precision helps publishers answer questions from users, and it is also particularly useful in scanning and curating social media conversations at scale. “That is a not a trivial thing to do manually,” said Battelle.
FM’s publishing partners range from sites like Awkward Family Photos and Serious Eats to Wholesome Baby Food. Besides helping these partners find new ad opportunities, Battelle said that FM may use TextDigger’s semantics platform to create standalone media products along the lines of ExecTweets, a business executive Twitter aggregator that the company designed for Microsoft.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. TextDigger founder and CEO Tim Musgrove will join FM as chief scientist, accompanied by several TextDigger engineers. However, TextDigger will continue to operate as a search focused separate company with chief business development officer Bob Perreault as CEO.