A blog post made earlier today confirmed Twitter's
acquisition of Bluefin Labs
, a leading social TV analytics company and data aggregator that provides information to advertisers, agencies, and TV networks. The move enhances Twitter's partnership with ratings firm Nielsen which was announced in December to assist in developing the Twitter TV rating, a "centerpiece of social TV measurement" according to Twitter's Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani.
Bluefin Labs began in the MIT Media Lab as an exercise in machine learning. As part of Twitter, the Bluefin team plans on "working closely with Nielsen, TV networks, advertisers, agencies, and the rest of the TV ecosystem to help shape the future of social TV." The Bluefin team located in Cambridge MA is not relocating to the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.
The television metering effort should use the more than 140 million active Twitter users with the one billion tweets sent every two and a half days to gain new insights into viewer interactions with programming. The Bluefin data in conjunction with the Nielsen analysis should refine the collected data, and prove more usable for companies wishing to purchase the data.
Bluefin has generated approximately $20 million in income over four years. The deal with Twitter is expected to cost the microblogging service $70 million or more.