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Summary:

Exclusive. Gnip is making it very clear it’s not just about Twitter anymore. The company, which provides aggregated API access to a variety of social media streams, has significantly expanded its partnership with Automattic, the company that runs WordPress.com.

gnip

Exclusive. Gnip is making it very clear it’s not just about Twitter anymore. The company, which provides aggregated API access to a variety of social media streams, has significantly expanded its partnership with Automattic, the company that runs WordPress.com. (See disclosure.)

Gnip is now the first company authorized to resell firehose access to the public data from WordPress.com, the comment platform IntenseDebate, and WordPress.org sites that have opted into the Jetpack plugin. Gnip has had a relationship with WordPress for some time, but this partnership will give Gnip a 70-percent increase in its coverage of blog posts and comments through the popular WordPress service, which now powers more than 60 million blogs worldwide.

Twitter brings news, but WordPress has analysis

The Boulder, Colo.-based Gnip is probably best known as the first company authorized to resell access to Twitter’s data firehose back in November 2010, but Gnip currently provides access to some 30 different sources including Facebook, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Vimeo, and others. In fact, today Gnip works with hundreds of customers, such as Radian6, that are collectively serving social media data to over 90 percent of the Fortune 500.

Also, the difference between Twitter data and WordPress data is significant for businesses, Gnip President and COO Chris Moody said in a recent interview. “News breaks on Twitter, but you’re not getting deep sentiment analysis with the data there. That comes with blogs, like what WordPress powers,” he said. “Twitter’s a great initial signal but WordPress blogs give you better sentiment. Companies tracking what’s going on in social media need the full picture.”

The expansion of the WordPress deal is just the first in many new partnership deals Gnip has on deck for 2012, as the company fields more demand for social media content. “We’re effectively doubling down with WordPress and bringing some new data to the market,” Moody said. “Twitter opening up its firehose to us has really had a domino effect in the world of publishers, and now other publishers have noted that it’s important for businesses to have access to this data.”

Competition at the Twitter firehose

There’s another big reason it makes sense for Gnip to expand its other content sources: It has competition on the Twitter front. DataSift, the only other company authorized to provide access to Twitter firehose data, launched in the U.S. in Nov. 2011. Not surprisingly, though, Moody maintains Gnip has not been “paying attention” to DataSift’s growth, as it’s been “so focused on our own business.”

The thing is, that line is actually somewhat believable in Gnip’s case, as the booming demand for social media data is keeping the company quite busy. It now has 33 people, more than triple its size from just a year ago, Moody said. Meanwhile, the company has not taken on outside funding since Nov. 2010; its total VC investment is around $6.5 million.

One thing is certain: Better access to more data is good for both brands and the social media companies that host the conversations about them. It’ll be exciting to see what else Gnip and other companies in the space have on deck for the months ahead.

Disclosure: Automattic, maker of WordPress.com, is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, GigaOm. Om Malik, founder of GigaOm, is also a venture partner at True.

  1. “Gnip is now the first company authorized to resell firehose access to the public data from WordPress.com, the comment platform IntenseDebate, and WordPress.org sites that have opted into the Jetpack plugin.”

    Collecta was doing this from launch day in May of 2009. They were one of our first partners.

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    1. Colleen Taylor Tuesday, January 17, 2012

      Thanks for commenting, Jack. It’s my understanding (from Gnip and Automattic) that others have had access to some of the WordPress.com content before. But the additional sources covered here (such as Jetpack-powered WordPress.org) have never been available before.

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      1. As far as I can tell, Jetpack content is available for any firehose consumer, but it’s possible that you need a special deal for that.

        In any case, it would have been more interesting to hear about WordPress.com’s new Jetpack features (which are new and interesting) than a rehashed (and embellished) press release from Gnip.

        I’m happy Gnip continues to expand their feed sources, but the bigger story is that WordPress.com continues to make data available in innovative ways (remember Ping-O-Matic?). Meanwhile, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others continue to hide and hoard theirs.

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  2. This article would be helpful if you’d ask some questions about what kind of content we’ll find in a GNIP WP firehose.

    Gnip’s site says posts, comments and likes. That’s sorta weird, because they live on separate sites whereas Tweets live on Twitter, making them essentially Twitter’s property.

    I assume each post in Gnip’s API will contain a smidgeon of the post and link back to the originating blog? I can’t imagine displaying entire posts or random comments.

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