Twitter suspends third-party data licensing to bring business in-house

Twitter is seeking to profit directly from its lucrative data stream by squeezing out third-party resellers and licensing access to half a billion daily messages direct.

It is the latest bid by the micro-blogging service to profit from its extensive user base by cutting out middlemen who offer services in analysing Twitter’s data stream to allow businesses to operate more efficiently.

The move bars DataSift and NTT (the last two remaining purchasers of Twitter data) from accessing the stream and follows Twitter’s acquisition of Gnip, what was one of the leading resellers of its information, to bring its operations in-house a year ago.

Speaking to The New York Times Chris Moody, former Gnip chief and now Twitter’s vice president for strategy, said: “In the future, every significant business decision will have Twitter data as an input, because why wouldn’t you? Why wouldn’t you add into your business decision-making, ‘What does the world think about this topic at this particular time or at a previous moment of time, maybe last year when we ran this campaign,’ that type of thing?”

Mike Weston, CEO of data science consultancy Profusion, added: “Twitters move to directly manage its data with third parties has been a long time coming and reflects the growing importance of data science. On one hand, it is to be welcomed because it will allow more companies to directly work with Twitter, potentially opening the way to more productive collaboration and consequently, deeper and more useful insights from Twitters data. However, the risk is that by seeking to exert more control over how its data is released and used, Twitter will curtail competition within the social media analytics space and hinder the development of new tools and techniques.”

Twitter raised $147m, approximately 10 per cent of its total revenues, from data licensing last year, a figure it is keen to grow further.

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