Social Media Monitor Gnip Grows With Reddit, Instagram, Bitly Feeds

4/4/13Follow @MichaelXBD

The amount of information companies can glean from social media is getting broader, its impact is reaching deeper, and the number of sources businesses need to follow is growing.

To keep up, Gnip, one of the leading collectors and providers of social media data, has added new feeds from six companies, including Reddit and Instagram, the company announced Thursday.

Gnip (pronounced “guh’nip”) is a Boulder, CO-based company that collects public social media posts, comments, and likes on about two dozen social media services including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. In addition to compiling the data, it enriches and bundles it according to clients’ specifications. Across all the platforms, Gnip tracks about 100 billion actions per month.

Gnip’s goal is to be the authoritative and complete one-stop shop for companies following mentions of them on social media, looking for the next trend, or interested in hot stocks or shifting markets, Gnip president and chief operating officer Chris Moody said.

“We ultimately aspire to be the source of record for all social media conversations,” Moody said.

Lately Gnip has been getting closer to that goal.

With the addition of Reddit, Gnip can help companies find out what people are saying about them on one of the Internet’s most cacophonous and influential platforms. Data available from the Instagram feeds include geolocation information, giving users insight into what subjects are hot in a particular region.

Gnip does not disclose financial information, but it is clearly growing. It recently turned five and has grown to about 60 employees, Moody said.

Gnip has raised $6.6 million, and its revenue has been enough to sustain its growth since its last round in 2010. Its investors include Boulder-based Foundry Group, SoftTech VC, and First Round Capital.

Its business model is focused on providing data to social media monitoring companies, which often provide their own enrichment and analysis before passing it on to their customers.

Eight of the nine largest social media monitoring companies are Gnip clients, and ultimately insight from social data compiled by Gnip is used by about 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies, according to Gnip.

“Our growth is being fueled by new data sources we’re bringing to market, as well as the maturing of the ecosystem,” Moody said.

Part of that maturation is a change in how companies use what they learn. Unlike a few years ago, their interest isn’t limited to PR, reputation monitoring, or marketing.

“Businesses are making decisions on all aspects of their business based on social data. Now we’re seeing it really go throughout the enterprise,” Moody said, including in product development and sales.

Customers “want the complete spectrum of conversations,” Moody said. Their need for completeness, along with reliability and sustainability, sets a high bar for Gnip, especially because companies want everything in real time.

Along with Reddit and Instagram, the additions announced Thursday include feeds from bitly, a service that shortens Web links; Stack Overflow, a community question-and-answer site for computer programmers; photo-sharing site Panoramio; and microblogging site Plurk.

Gnip also is enhancing the geolocation information it supplies about YouTube and Flickr posts.

The new additions collect data from the sites’ public application programming interfaces, or APIs, so companies like Gnip can collect and use it, Moody said. Ambitious end users also could try collecting it on their own.

Gnip is betting its clients and the companies they work for would prefer to work with a single supplier for all their social media data, Moody said. It is offering the feeds through its Enterprise Data Collector service, which normalizes their format, expands shortened links so keywords can be extracted, and removes duplicates, among other features.

Gnip has access to the full Twitter firehose and the company’s complete archive of public tweets going back to its 2006 launch. Gnip was the first authorized reseller of Twitter data.

The startup also has exclusive access to some data streams, including the full firehoses from Tumblr, WordPress, Disqus, StockTwits, NewsGator, and Intense Debate.

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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