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Strata Gems: The emerging marketplace for social data

We're publishing a new Strata Gem each day all the way through to December 24. Yesterday's Gem: Let it snow.

Strata 2011If you want to analyze social media data in significant volumes, it can be inconvenient and costly to aggregate it yourself. Aggregator and reseller Gnip is at the forefront of the growing marketplace for social data. As well as providing a unified API to aggregated public data from social web sites, Gnip are the first authorized reseller for the entirety of Twitter's public output.

Who uses this Twitter data, and for what? The ultimate end users of most aggregated social data are corporations. The data is used either for brand management and monitoring purposes, or as part of workflow systems that help them address customer issues online. However, the raw feeds themselves are most often provided to suppliers of social monitoring systems, not the end user.

Right now, you can't just install a "Twitter sink" and point the Twitter firehose into it. Gnip's licensees are mostly vendors of social CRM systems. According to Gnip's estimate there are over 500 social monitoring products available in the US alone, but the bigger market is in integration with existing CRMs. Rather than using separate systems, it makes more sense to introduce social media data into the existing CRM investments of large enterprises.

By reselling their public data, Twitter is the first social service to monetize its raw data in this way. Over the course of the next twelve months this trend is likely to accelerate. With that acceleration, we'll also see attendant issues over public awareness of the ultimate destination of their social media scribblings. Writing something in public for your friends is one thing, but people may be surprised to know their every utterance is being carefully watched by their favorite brands.

Gnip's CEO Jud Valeski will be participating in the Strata panel What's Mine is Yours: the Ethics of Big Data Ownership.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl