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Twitter Buys Bluefin Labs For A Reported $100 Million

Twitter has purchased the social media analytics startup Bluefin Labs for about $100 million, although officially the selling price has yet to be disclosed. The Bluefin transaction is said to be Twitter’s largest acquisition to date.

Bluefin monitors what users are posting in real time on social media — primarily Twitter — about television shows. After analyzing the online chatter, known as social TV activity, it sells the data to advertisers and networks.

As Business Insider explains, Bluefin Labs’ analytics makes the equivalent of “water-cooler conversations” available immediately rather than the next day. Bluefin will keep its Cambridge, Mass., offices under its new ownership.

Since simultaneous watching TV and tweeting about it has become very popular, this transaction makes sense for Twitter according to a separate Business Insider report:

“Twitter’s move into social TV makes a lot of sense. It hired a Head of TV last fall and there’s a strong correlation between people watching shows and tweeting about them … Bluefin Labs offers detailed reports about which brands are discussed most on social media. It can provide Twitter the ammo it needs to hook advertisers by showing who needs to spend money to up their social media status, and who needs to spend money to maintain their place at the top.”

Twitter previously forged an agreement with the Nielsen TV ratings service that starting next fall will track how many times a particular show gets a tweet.

In a blog post, Twitter COO Ali Rowghani said this about the Bluefin Labs acquisition:

” … We believe that Bluefin’s data science capabilities and social TV expertise will help us create innovative new ad products and consumer experiences in the exciting intersection of Twitter and TV … As millions of people around the world experienced during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast, Twitter is an amazing complement to live television viewing. We look forward to working with Bluefin and our partners in the television industry to make the experience of Twitter and television even better.”

Do you tweet while you are watching TV?