Talking tech since 2003

What if the real reason Apple bought Topsy has nothing to do with ad targeting or analytics and everything to do with search.  At its core, Topsy is a search engine, it has access to more than 400 million tweets per day from Twitter’s “firehose” all of which are completely searchable.  Topsy was also supposed to be adding Google+ indexing, increasing the amount of social data it has available at its disposal.  It was well known that Steve Jobs was very angry that Google acquired and released Android to the world to compete directly with Apple’s iPhone, especially since they didn’t enter the search engine space.  Could this be payback?

Apple didn’t have a search engine of its own, well, until yesterday.  Now it can build out Topsy further to include some more web data and leverage its vast amount of social data to provide a much more personalized user experience.  Imagine if Google was no longer the default search engine on the iPhone but rather it was Topsy.  An Apple search engine that works seamlessly with Siri and all Apple applications across all Apple devices.  Despite Android owning a significant portion of the smartphone marketshare, if Apple were to reroute all that traffic their devices (iPhones, iPads, Mac’s) drive to Google and push it towards their own search service, it could really hurt the Big G.

With all these data signals, including preferences, app downloads, social data, location, music likes, movie likes, TV show likes, etc, Apple could put together a very powerful and personalized search engine that could compete directly with Google.  Plus, it would all be connected to your Apple ID.  By the way, there are over 500 million Apple ID accounts with a credit card on file.

Now to execute all of this will take some time, if it were to happen, I wouldn’t expect to see it all come together for a couple years.

What do you think?  Is Apple planning to build a search engine to compete with Google?


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