After making an official launch two weeks ago for their recently-acquired video platform Vine, social networking giants Twitter have revealed a move for more video-related content to add to their company, with 2008-founded Bluefin Labs said to have been bought out for the highest single price in Twitter’s history.
While the cost of the Bluefin acquisition is unknown, experts have estimated that it is most likely between $50m-100m, and almost guaranteed to be higher than the site’s previous highest buy-out of TweetDeck (costing $40m in May 2011).
Bluefin is a company specialising in taking statistics from social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and applying them to studies to measure ‘viewer engagement’ in TV programming, and has a list of high-profile investors including Time Warner Investments, Jim Pallotta, Redpoint Ventures, the National Science Foundation, and Lerer Ventures, amongst other companies and individuals.
Twitter have been further developing their presence in the world of TV over the past year, and while not directly broadcasting content, have attempted to capitalise on their key position as a discussion tool for viewers, with Bluefin themseves citing that on social media, this weekend’s Super Bowl attracted 30.6m mentions (through Twitter, Facebook, and GetGlue) raised from 12.2m recorded for last year’s event (though assisted by this year’s Ravens-49ers game being delayed by a blackout).
Twitter is cited as the leading force in this area (even if they are overwhelmed by rival sites in general usage), with over half of all ‘Super Bowl commercials’ aired on Sunday mentioning the site as a point of reference for their company, with Facebook and Google+ receiving 8% and 0% of adverts mentioning them, respectively.
The microblogging site is notable as having recently teamed up with ratings specialists Nielsen late last year for a partnership in creating the world’s first official ‘social TV ratings’, underlining the importance that many have placed on the ever-developing medium, the impact and importance of which has been proven by numerous studies across the past several years.
The report on the Bluefin purchase from Twitter by Business Insider summarises: “Bluefin Labs offers detailed reports about which brands are discussed most on social media. It can provide Twitter the ammo it needs to hook advertisers by showing who needs to spend money to up their social media status, and who needs to spend money to maintain their places at the top.”