Update: Twitter has now officially announced the acquisition. The company says in a blog post:
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.
This acquisition reflects our commitment to the social TV market, and builds on our exclusive partnership with Nielsen announced in December to develop the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, the centerpiece of social TV measurement based on Nielsen’s SocialGuide platform. We intend to honor existing Bluefin customer contracts, but we will not continue to sell Bluefin’s product suite beyond the existing contracts. We plan to collaborate closely with Nielsen and SocialGuide on product development and research to help brands, agencies, and networks fully understand the combined value of Twitter and TV.
All Things D reports that Twitter is buying Bluefin, but says the deal isn't done yet.
Bluefin is a social TV analytics company offering solutions for TV networks and operators, as well as brands and ad agencies.
"We’ve always known that TV drives conversation," the company says on its site. "Now, with public social media, what consumers say about the shows and commercials they watch on TV can be measured and mined for insights. Bluefin’s flagship product suite – Bluefin Signals – puts new and actionable analytics at the fingertips of brands, agencies, and TV networks."
If you follow Twitter's blog at all, you know that Twitter has been very interested in the Twitter conversation surrounding television events. Here are some stats the company dropped after the Super Bowl on Sunday:
The game is over, the confetti has descended, and #RavensNation is celebrating their big victory. During the Sunday matchup between the @ravens and @49ers, the roar of the crowd was comprised of 24.1 million Tweets about the game and halftime show (this leaves aside the ads, about which more below). By the beginning of the second half, the volume of Tweets had already surpassed last year’s Tweet total.
The moments generating the biggest peaks of Twitter conversation (measured in Tweets per minute, or TPM) during the game:
- Power outage: 231,500 TPM
- 108-yard kickoff return for Ravens TD by Jones: 185,000 TPM
- Clock expires; Ravens win: 183,000 TPM
- Jones catches 56 yard pass for Ravens TD (end of 2nd quarter): 168,000 TPM
- Gore TD for 49ers: 131,000 TPM
Of course this is just one of many popular television events that take place throughout any given year. On top of that, Twitter is getting a lot more mention on TV than even Facebook, at least during the Super Bowl, as Matt McGee at MarketingLand found the other night.
Twitter recently hired a head of TV, and teamed up with Nielsen on a TV Ratings metric. Last year, word even came out that Twitter was in talks to bring original shows to Twitter itself. The company has recently made video within Twitter more of a thing, making embeddable tweets richer, and launching Vine, for example (and they always say the porn industry innovates on the web).
Business Insider shares an old presentation from Twitter about driving discovery and engagement with TV, calling it "the deck that explains why Twitter just bought Bluefin Labs".
Neither company has commented on the acquisition.