Just a month after Twitter announced the acquisition of Dabble DB and Trendly parent company Smallthought Systems, it appears the new additions to the analytics crew are about to launch their first project. “[D]eploying a new app month after the deal closed,” now-Twitter employee Andrew Catton said tonight, “seems just about right to me.”
The team’s original apps helped users discover meaningful trends in their Google Analytics data. Both parties to the acquisition indicated that Smallthought’s work inside Twitter would be an extension of what they were already doing. It appears we may get to find out sooner than later. After a long Mountain Dew filled night at the @twoffice, analytics lead Kevin Weil tweeted from his iPhone this morning “it’s go time” and cc’d the Dabble DB crew. Updated with comment from Twitter HQ below.
Twitter PR is being cagey about it, but the Tweets don’t lie. At 6 PM tonight, Luke Andrews tweeted: “In the Twitter deployment queue! Woot! Looking forward to seeing my team’s first handiwork out loose in the wild.”
Update: Twitter VP of Communications Sean Garrett responds in comments to this post and denies there’s anything new coming after all. “While very proud of our handiwork,” he writes, “I wish we were launching something worth ‘all this whoop-la’, but this is an update to an existing analytics product that very few people see. We drink Mountain Dew all night for that stuff, too.” Apparently inside Twitter, phrases like “new app,” and “it’s go time” are code for “nothing new to see here.” Charming. Well, consider this a post about the new app that could be, if and when Twitter ever launches a public analytics product for the countless business customers who will line up to use it. You win some and you lose some, folks; come back again tomorrow for more fun and hopefully-informed speculation about the changing internet.
Above: A screenshot from Trendly, automating the discovery of patterns in data.
So what is it that got ready to be rolled out the door so fast? Trendly for Twitter? Twitter analytics plus Google Analytics in the same number crunching interface? A measurement system for marketing promotions run through @earlybird? (Which this blog reported about first last Friday, as well.) Twitter was just reported today to be the world’s fastest growing search engine – maybe this team is just building out Trendly-style analytics for that. The Trendly site is still up and is quite interesting.
We haven’t been able to figure out what it is that’s launching yet, but it sure seems like something interesting is. There is certainly a possibility that all this whoop-la is over some internal-facing service that no one but no one that doesn’t work at Twitter will ever see. I doubt it, though.
What Does This Mean to You?
What does this mean to you? If you’re an end-user, you may or may not get to see and touch whatever this team has built. Twitter is building out extensive business offerings, so far beta tested by just a select group. Those offerings have been said to be slow-moving in their development, but the company seems to be putting the pedal to the metal lately.
What opportunities does rich Twitter data afford? See also What Twitter’s New Geolocation Feature Makes Possible for more discussion.
If you’re a business that’s considering putting down a few thousand or a few tens of thousands of dollars (or more) for one of the many social media analytics software services out on the market – you might want to hold on to your wallet for a few more days until you see what the home team is about to start offering.
If you’re in the business of selling social media analytics services (and they say you can’t swing a dead cat these days without hitting someone who is) then heads up! It will be worth your while to watch what Team Trendly is baking into Twitter before a sales prospect you’re pitching beats you to that info.
Whoever you are, Twitter is deliciously rich with real-time, parsable links and other data. A fancy new analytics offering sounds like a great thing for the company to make available.