DataSift launches in U.S., opens San Francisco headquarters

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DataSift, the British company that built its business filtering and sorting through reams of Twitter data in real time, has brought its act to the United States, moving its headquarters to San Francisco this week.

Twitter has become an important information source for marketers, branding experts and others wanting to track or try to correct or capitalize on public perceptions of their companies based on Twitter’s “firehose” of information. All of that data, which often includes customer complaints or reviews of products and services, contributes a significant amount to the big data boom.

Twitter has authorized only two companies to sort through and track that Twitter data: DataSift and Gnip.

In a statement, DataSift founder Nick Halstead, who also founded TweetMeme, said:

Social media has amplified the already fast-paced nature of business today. Companies don’t have the luxury to sift through hundreds of millions of data streams every day, only to second guess the appropriate action. What they need is definitive access to real-time intelligence that is impactful to their business — allowing them to easily and quickly detect and respond to major trending events, social behaviors, customer preferences — and ultimately, avert any impending crises. We have been amazed with the demand for our platform in the U.S. and are opening an office to cater to this demand.

DataSift’s  users are not limited to keyword search: They can use complicated filters that take into account location, gender, sentiment, language and Klout influence. DataSift’s cloud-based services are available on a subscription basis and on demand.

The growth of companies like DataSift, which this summer got $6 million in venture funding, shows that Twitter can no longer be considered a toy: Twitter data means big business.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Remko van Dokkum

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