We may be in the height of the dry season in Cape Town but you probably wouldn’t have guessed by looking at the dam…
Twitter has bought Julpan, a startup specialising in sifting relevant or important data from blogs, tweets, rss feeds and other online social content.
Julpan, just a year old, is the brain-child of Israeli-born computer scientist Ori Allon, best known for his work on the widely praised “Orion” search engine.
The rights to Orion were bought by Google in 2006 and incorporated into the internet titan’s own technology.
As part of the deal, Allon worked at Google until leaving to start Julpan in 2010.
His latest venture, based in New York City, was devoted to insightfully determining in real-time what people are sharing with social networking services and tools.
“We’ve created innovative, early-alpha-stage search technology that analyzes social activity across the Web to deliver fresh and relevant content to users,” Allon said in an online message announcing the acquisition by Twitter.
“With more than 230-million tweets per day on every subject imaginable, Twitter gives us a chance to make an even greater contribution toward instantly bringing people closer to what is most meaningful to them,” he added.
Allon will reportedly be given the title of director of engineering at San Francisco-based Twitter.
Julpan’s technology is designed to help users “discover the most relevant content shared on the web without having to know what keywords to search for”.
It does this by analysing the activity of “over a 100-million people to determine the most important stories happening at this very moment”.
The company claims that its algorithms automatically “filter away spam and categorise stories by topic,” allowing users to “focus on high-quality content and ignore the noise”.
It also claims to be able to do this at a hyper-local level by analysing the social web and correlating it with location information “to determine what people are saying in each location and what stories about those locations are being shared”.
Twitter refused to comment on how much the acquisition was worth. In an email statement to PC World, however, Twitter spokeswoman Lynn Fox said: “We acquired them because Ori Allon and his talented team have taken social search to an entirely new level. This will quickly enhance our ongoing efforts to surface more relevant content to users in real-time.”
Twitter has a vested interest in real-time search following the shutting down of Google’s Realtime search function.
The search giant shut the service down in July after its deal with Twitter expired and just days after the launch of its own social network, Google+.