Twitter Nets Bluefin

Site Acquires Startup That Analyzes TV-Related Social Media Data

Twitter announced late Tuesday that it had acquired Bluefin Labs, a startup that analyzes social media activity related to TV and sells that data to advertisers, agencies and TV networks including CBS, Turner Broadcasting System, Fox and Discovery Communications.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Privately held Twitter is paying between $90 million and $100 million for Bluefin, according to multiple reports.

“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,” Twitter chief operating officer Ali Rowghani wrote in a blog post.

According to Twitter, the Bluefin acquisition will build on its exclusive partnership with Nielsen, announced in December. Under that deal, the companies plan to develop the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, based on the platform developed by SocialGuide, which Nielsen acquired last fall.

Twitter intends to “honor existing Bluefin customer contracts, but we will not continue to sell Bluefin’s product suite beyond the existing contracts,” Rowghani said.

Bluefin had raised $20 million from investors including Time Warner Inc., SoftBank Capital, Redpoint Ventures and Lerer Ventures.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Bluefin was founded in 2008 by two former MIT Research Lab scientists, Deb Roy and Michael Fleischman. The startup introduced a private beta of its analytics service in May 2011, followed in July with the commercial launch of the Bluefin Signals analytics platform.