Twitter Acquires Summize

There aren’t many surprises in web technology given how well the media and the blogs cover the sector. And it’s even more so with our portfolio company Twitter which seems to attract a lot of attention for a host of well known reasons.

Last month Twitter announced a financing but it was old news by then. Today, Twitter announced that it has acquired the leading Twitter search engine Summize. That was also widely reported last week and so it’s a bit of old news.

But even though it’s old news, I think it’s big news. Twitter will now allow you to follow not only people but also ideas, concepts, names, thoughts, etc. And they will do that natively and via the API.  Those who follow the microblogging sector closely certainly have seen the potential of this, but now we can see it in action and use it.

I wrote a short blog post on the Union Square Ventures blog about this transaction. Summize investor John Borthwick of Betaworks has a terrific blog post on the transaction on his blog.  And of course TechCrunch has a post on it as well.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. coreyh

    Congrats to all involved. Interestingly, nobody is talking about how Summize did a nice job of pivoting around their technology and finding an entirely new direction for themselves. From screen scraping and aggregating reviews to piggy backing on the Twitter stream and adding value there instead. And it all happened within a really short period of time (at least from the outsider’s perspective).

    1. fredwilson

      Borthwick’s post, which I linked to, goes into great detail on that.

  2. Nate

    I hope the inevitable shoehorning of Summize into Twitter’s UI doesn’t make them both too busy.

    1. fredwilson

      That’s a valid concern but based on what I’ve seen so far, I think they have thought that through really wellFred

  3. Loic Le Meur

    great news!

  4. konterkariert

    This makes much sense, because Summize offers great Sentiment Analysis technology.With Summize Twitter is now a gold mine for Web Data Mining and Web Monitoring.Ford could ask Twitter, how their products do. If the people like their new car or not. Ford could pay Twitter to monitor all their products and get alarmed, if the twitter crowd of early adopters talks bad about a particular auto.Twitter + Summize is like ICQ + Nielsen//NetRatings on steroidsI will make a deeper comment on the relationship between Twitter and Summize, here, laterhttp://konterkariert.tumblr…

  5. wise startup blog

    While at first I was a bit skeptical of Twitter for acquiring a service they could have easily bought themselves, upon finding out that Twitter took on 5 employees from Summize, bringing their total team to 12 it makes perfect sense.Twitter needs to grow and scale as quickly as possible, why not save $100k in hiring costs and bring on a team needing zero-training to help monetize the $100 million beast.

    1. fredwilson

      They have 12 already so its now 17But I totally agree. This is about a bunch of things and one is improvingtwitter’s ability to scale, build new stuff, and growfred

  6. gregorylent

    i actually felt sad to see the summize logo gone, replaced by the twitter logo, this evening … summize i knew i could depend on, unlike tweetscan or twitter itself ….. i actually don’t want to use it, would really prefer they had let it continue under its own label …. it is visceral

    1. fredwilson

      I think twitter is on its way to earning your trust back

      1. gregorylent

        yes, i am sure …. what was interesting was the spontaneous reaction in my gut to seeing that logo …. i am a dog of pavlovi really like the service, example, firefox responded to me with solutions because i had tweeted that my browser was crashing ….can see it now, verizon job offerings, twitter monitors, positions open, though i suppose it will be machines

      2. gregorylent

        though today isnt one of the days that is going to happen … first replies wouldn’t work, then the follow button was pulled, and now when i sign in i go to someone else’s account … i suspect drug use

  7. mattsingley

    I see this the same way that adamwise does, this is a great way to grow the company without the initial slump of spinning up new employees. I think this is a win/win/win! (Twitter/Summize/Us!)

  8. andyswan


  9. Farhan Lalji

    Valleywag had a decent post on this as well (SHOCK), Owen Thomas actually made a good point about companies acquiring start ups to get good people in the door rather then hiring staff. Think this is a solid deal and looking forward to what Twitter does next. Congrats.

  10. scott

    how does $15m to hire 5 staff look good as an economic decision?Also @ Konterkariet you might want to look at user numbers for ICQ and Nielsen before you make statements like that.Still waiting for the revenue model for this “$100m beast”

    1. fredwilson

      Not sure where you got the 15mm number but its not accurateAnd they got a lot more than a team, although its a great teamIf you look closely, maybe you’ll see the business model emergingFred

  11. Jamie Lin

    Congrats! Agree with everyone that the deal makes perfect sense! I feel with Summize’s technologies, Twitter can also take a step forward and make multiparty conversations easier to participate and more fun for follow. At that point, it can truly realize microblogging’s promise of now web.

  12. Mike

    This was a good deal for both parties involved, a solid strategic move that will only strengthen the ability of twitter to grow. I’m not as well versed with twitter and summize and I have a couple questions. What is the value of searching for updates amongst your friends, especially when they are limited to 163 characters? From a social perspective it makes sense. For example, if you are going to a local football game and you want to find out who else is going, you could do a search for “football game” and see what happens. I don’t feel like anybody has such a robust social network of die hard twitter users, which is needed to make a search utility really valuable from the end-user perspective. How does search fit into their business model? Look here some awesome entrepreneur tips…

  13. Stuart G Hall

    Thanks, blogged your post, and added a bit of geotagging;-)

    1. fredwilson

      How do you geotag that post?

  14. Dan Weinreb

    How to succeed in business: First, acquire companies. Second, think of a business model.

    1. Michael Wilde

      comment on Twitter’s acquisition of Summize

  15. Stuart G Hall

    Q: How do you geotag that post?A: By simply adding your location in the title of my blog: <<from vc=”” fred=”” wilson=”” (who=”” according=”” to=”” twitter=”” is=”” in=”” sunny=”” soho=”” right=”” now,=”” lucky=”” man).=””>>