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Confirmed: Twitter buys Summize

As was rumored last week, Twitter has acquired Summize, best known for its Twitter search engine and whose broader mission "is to search & discover the topics and attitudes expressed within online conversations." The terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
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Written by Steve O'Hear on
Confirmed: Twitter buys Summize
As was rumored last week, Twitter has acquired Summize, best known for its Twitter search engine and whose broader mission "is to search & discover the topics and attitudes expressed within online conversations." The terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

In a blog post, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone explains the thinking behind the acquisition, revealing that his company had "already fallen in love with both the technology and the team" behind Summize. On that note, Summize's Twitter search engine has already been formally integrated into Twitter's site, with Summize's API to follow. With regards to personnel, "all five Summize engineers will move to San Francisco, CA and take jobs at Twitter, Inc.", writes Stone.

In other words, this a both a technology and talent-based acquisition, although TechCrunch reports that Summize founder and CEO Jay Verdy will move on to a new project.

Stone notes that Summize's Twitter search engine improved on Twitter's own tracking functionality, in which keywords rather than people could be "followed", creating a kind of Twitter buzz tracker. Summize's technology has the potential go quite a bit further by not only tracking how often a particular topic gets a mention, but actually ascertain different attitudes and viewpoints, and weight them accordingly. This functionality, combined with geo-coding, led Om Malik to suggest that it could form the basis of an ad-targeting system for Twitter, and subsequently, a business model.

Update: Fellow ZDNet blogger Jennifer Leggio has some additional thoughts and asks: "what happens to Twellow and TweetScan and other independent search engines. Is this the end for them or will we soon see “Plurkellow” and “KwipScan”?"

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