4 Reactions to Twitter’s Gnip Acquisition

Ad players weigh in

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Twitter's decision to purchase long-time data partner Gnip will have far-reaching implications for social media marketers, per a snap poll of industry players today.

Boulder, Colo.-based Gnip is one of a limited number of vendors that access Twitter's so-called stats firehose, but it also works with data from Foursquare, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, etc. What Gnip's full breadth of data—from the aforementioned social sources—means to the future of Twitter-based advertising and marketing seems intriguing. While the price of the purchase hasn't been revealed, Apple bought a similar data company, Topsy, four months ago for more than $200 million.

In a blog post, Twitter platform vp Jana Messerschmidt, said the Twitter-Gnip combination would "offer more sophisticated data sets and better data enrichments, so that even more developers and businesses big and small around the world can drive innovation using the unique content that is shared on Twitter."

Here are 4 takes on the development from the digital advertising world:

1. Twitter corrals control. John Donahue, co-founder of White Lighting + Judge's Son: "[It] is a big move for Twitter. Marketers who have advertised on Twitter have succeeded when Twitter is integrated into a broader media idea or data is used to power an agile targeting solution. You need one or the other to drive paid success on Twitter. Twitter is re-possessing their data. The Gnip acquisition means by controlling the data distribution they are the sole arbiter of value when it comes to the consumer media solution [that] they power. Data is the key to that value."

2. Gnip's data can drive ad revenues for the social giant. Mark Josephson, CEO of Bitly: "I think Twitter's move here signals that social data is important for improving ad spend, and they are ready to take this on."

3. It could bolster Twitter retargeting. Ted Murphy, Izea chief: "Assuming Twitter keeps everything status quo with Gnip's data, this will allow marketers to be better with cross-platform targeting and honing their messaging from a much bigger data set. It'll also help with integrating data across your entire marketing lifecycle. As a marketer, if you are able to access all this data, things like retargeting Twitter ads might be very interesting."

4. Apple's Topsy might be damaged goods now. Donahue from White Lightning: "One thing is for sure, the corporate development people behind acquisitions like Topsy are now under pressure to protect their investments. No more Gnip data could be a deathblow to companies like Topsy."

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.