Apple bought the San Francisco-based startup for more than $200 million. Topsy can monitor trends, consumer sentiment and influences within full streams of tweets, now averaging nearly 500 million a day, and dating back to 2006. It is one of a few firms with real-time access to Twitter's messages.
Apple bought a number of companies this year, including motion-tracking company PrimeSense, based in Israel, and navigation service companies HopStop and Embark. Apple generally buys companies to enhance its own products.
But when it comes to social networking, some still wonder how Topsy's product will be used within Apple. CEO Tim Cook told ABC News in June 2012 that "Apple needs to be social, but it doesn't have to own a social network."
Bloomberg reported that it could be to capture data -- mostly consumer data to better conform Apple products to what consumers want. And while Apple might be leveraging social media, they're still expected to stay out of the social media business.