Bloomberg News

Twitter Acquires Bluefin Labs to Add Social TV Tools

February 05, 2013

Twitter Inc., the microblogging service that features 140-character status updates, is paying about $100 million to acquire startup Bluefin Labs, according to a person familiar with the matter.

San Francisco-based Twitter announced the deal today in a blog posting. The person asked not to be identified because the price isn’t being disclosed. Bluefin Labs, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, makes software that lets advertisers, agencies and networks monitor and analyze social-media comments about TV shows and commercials.

Twitter, which plans to boost sales to a projected $1 billion in 2014, is building relationships in TV, where the bulk of advertising budgets are spent. Bluefin’s technology may help Twitter expand a partnership formed in December with television- ratings provider Nielsen Holdings NV to measure the amount of Web discussion generated by TV programs.

“As millions of people around the world experienced during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast, Twitter is an amazing complement to live television viewing,” Ali Rowghani, Twitter’s chief operating officer, wrote in a blog posting about the Bluefin purchase today. “We look forward to working with Bluefin and our partners in the television industry to make the experience of Twitter and television even better.”

Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, declined to comment on the terms of the deal.

TV Link

In June, a third of active Twitter users posted on the site about something they watched on TV, up from 26 percent of Twitter users at the beginning of the year, Nielsen said in a report on social media last year. Adults aged 35 to 44 are the most likely to discuss TV shows on social sites, the report found.

Twitter bolstered its entertainment ties in November by naming Peter Chernin, a former News Corp. president, to its board. The appointment was intended to help the company navigate the media industry, Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo said at the time.

Technology blog Business Insider reported earlier that the price for Bluefin Labs was probably $50 million to $100 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Douglas MacMillan in San Francisco at dmacmillan3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net


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