Twitter Acquisitions

Twitter has been the focus of a number of acquisition talks over the past couple of years, usually as the target of an acquisition by a Google or Microsoft or Yahoo or Facebook.

Twitter has made a few acquisitions of its own, and I was trying, without much success, to find a list of the companies that it purchased, either for the technology that they offered, or for the people that they employed.

Twitter has blogged about the majority of acquisitions it has made, though not all. It’s possible that there are other companies that were purchased by Twitter that I wasn’t able to locate any information on. If you know about any, and you’re so inclined, please let me know about them.

Here are the Twitter Acquisitions that I was able to find:

summize logo

Summize
July 14, 2008

Summize was a 5 member startup based in Northern Virginia, and began with a focus upon sentiment analysis for the Web. They had developed a way of searching and filtering Twitter results that provided significant improvements to those features offered by Twitter itself.

Before Summize developed a way to search twitter, their focus was upon providing sentiment analysis for reviews and blogs on products, people, videos, music, and more. I remember beta testing a blog widget for them back then.

The purchase price for Summize was estimated to be around $15M in cash and Twitter stock

Abdur Chowdhury, who was a Co-founder and the Chief Scientist at Summize is now the Chief Scientist at Twitter.

Values of n logo

Values of n
November 24, 2008

When the Twitter blog introduced Rael Dornfest to the Twitter community, the focus was more upon what Rael would bring to Twitter than the products that Values of n had developed.

Prior to joining Twitter, he was O’Reilly’s Chief Technical Officer, and was the force behind Meercat, the first web-based feed aggregator.

townme logo

Mixer Labs
December 23, 2009

The last post on Mixer Lab’s townme blog on October 15, 2009 introduced their GeoAPI which could be used to provide a number of location-based services. On December 23, 2009, the Twitter blog pointed out the introduction of their own Geotragging API a month earlier, and the acquisition of Mixer Labs.

Atebits logo

Atebits
April 9, 2010

I searched for, but didn’t see a mention of the Atebits acquisitions on the Twitter blog, but a New York Times blog post does a good job of describing Twitter’s Acquisition of Atebits, who was known at the time for the Tweetie apps for using twitter on iPhones and Mac computers.

The last post on the Atebits blog from developer Loren Brichter, “An Amazing Ride,” made the official announcement of the acquistion.

One of the pieces that came along with this acquistion is the assignment of a patent to Twitter, User Interface Mechanics, which describes an infinite scrolling method like the one presently in use at Twitter.

Cloudhopper logo

Cloudhopper
April 23, 2010

Cloudhopper specialized in building scalable SMS systems, and the incorporation of their technology into Twitter enabled the company to spread across the globe much quicker. And much of that was during the 8 months prior to Twitter acquiring Cloudhopper.

Dabble DB logo

Smallthought Systems
June 10, 2010

Before Twitter acquired Smallthought Systems, they were a client of the company, using their Dabble DB online database to manage internal projects, and their tool Trendly. In More Than Dabbling, twitter introduces the Smallthought Systems team to the Twitter community.

Fluther logo

Fluther team
December 21, 2010

Twitter didn’t acquire Fluther outright, but rather hired the employees of the site. The Twitter blog introduces the Q&A community team members to Twitter in Fluther Flocks to Twitter

Conclusion

Will Twitter be acquired by one of the major search engines or social networks on the Web sometime in the future?

Will they continue to make acquistions that improve the quality of the services that they offer, and the technical knowledge behind it?

I’ll try to keep an eye out for future acquisitions by Twitter. If you hear of any, please let me know. Thanks.

Share

20 thoughts on “Twitter Acquisitions”

  1. Twitter acquires Twithawk, TweetMeme, bizz.ly, Skout and TwitJump according to News|Woodside Capital Partners

  2. I have never heard that twitter did any acquisition but yes I did heard that Facebook & Google tried unsuccessfully to acquire twitter. This is an interesting & valuable post which tells that twitter is working silently to rule the web world.
    The information you have provided above on that basis I don’t think that anyone will succeed to acquire twitter but I’m sure that twitter continue to improve and keep present challenges before other social media sites.

  3. Indeed, twitter is one of the largest networking sites ever and the reason is, they are a social AND business networking site.

    Jim -
    “Twitter acquires Twithawk, TweetMeme, bizz.ly, Skout and TwitJump according to News|Woodside Capital Partners”

    I think you will find that Twithawk, TweetMeme and TwitJump are all companies started by Twitter to broaden their online presence, i don’t know where you got the information that they were owned by someone else from? Perhaps you could share it?

    the workwear guy

  4. Hi Jim and the workwear guy

    I don’t believe that Twitter actually acquired those companies. The link Jim pointed to in his second comment notes that they are “potential acquisitions” for twitter as predicted by TechCrunch for 2010, but I didn’t see any evidence that the TechCrunch predictions came true.

  5. Hi Shailender,

    For some reason, I actually expected that there would be more companies acquired by Twitter than I found.

    I possibly should have ended this post asking about which companies might be potential acquisitions targets by Twitter in the future.

  6. Hi tdicello,

    I could see Twitter continuing to reject companies trying to acquire them, and continuing to improve upon, and increasing the services that they offer, with an acquisition here and there to bring new technology and employees to the company.

  7. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for sharing where you found the information. As i said before, these companies were in fact founded by directors and investors of Twitter in hope of maximizing profits.

  8. Great websites, i definatly will check them out. its hard to say if these predictions actually came true or not, the companies have defiantly provided value and im sure twitter will use it in one way or another

  9. Twitter is making acquisitions? I didn’t even know they had money. Of course, I haven’t really paid attention, but what exactly have they done to REALLY monetize? Nothing really stands out other than the gathering of investors.

    Mark

  10. Hi Ken,

    The companies that I listed are ones that Twitter has actually acquired. Most of those acquisitions look to have been made to indirectly hire the people involved, and the knowledge and experience that they would bring with them to Twitter..

  11. Hi Mark,

    Most of the money that Twitter has to make acquistions like this seem to have come from financial backers. Twitter has been working on some methods to create money, such as promoting tweets and promoting trending topics. No idea how effective or lucrative those have been.

  12. Pingback: Twitter: The Lost Boy with Deep Pockets « Social Mayonnaise

Comments are closed.