Twitter Buys Analytics Firm Smallthought for Commercial Accounts

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-06-11

Twitter has made it clear it wants to add analytics capabilities for its eventual paid accounts, and the microblog took a step in that direction June 10 by snapping up Smallthought Systems.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Twitter has been using Smallthought's Dabble DB online database for project management.

But the company acquired the startup for Trendly, which Twitter analytics lead Kevin Weil described as a "tool that helps Websites distinguish signal from noise in their Google Analytics data."

"They have joined our analytics team and will focus on integrating ideas from Trendly into our current tools and building innovative real-time products for our future commercial partners," Weil explained in a blog post.

Twitter has said it wants to inject analytics into commercial accounts to help marketers better reach their audiences. The belief is that some marketers will gladly pay for such services to get their messages out.

The company, which boasts more than 190 million users, also recently began testing its link shortener with a mind to boost the metrics behind the company's Promoted Tweets advertising platform.

The tool will serve as a key quality signal for the company's Resonance algorithm for deciding if a tweet is relevant and interesting to users. Eventually, and the Resonance algorithms will be used in Twitter's analytics service for commercial accounts.

That is where the Smallthought team will work for Twitter. Smallthought said Dabble DB will continue to provide software and technical support to current Dabble DB customers. The company has disabled new account signups as it integrates with Twitter.

The company will also provide its Dabble DB users 60 days advance notice of any major change, allowing users to export all of their data, including attachments.

Twitter has been on a mini-shopping spree since buying search startup Summize in 2008.

Twitter has snapped up location service Mixer Labs, iPhone app maker Atebits and SMS startup Cloudhopper in the last several months.   

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