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Twitter Cutting Ties With All Data Resellers, Including DataSift

Twitter is bringing more of its data licensing business in-house.

Marisa Allegra Williams (@marisa) for Twitter, Inc.

Twitter will soon cut off data access to its independent data partners, including DataSift and Japan’s NTT, in order to bring that business in-house.

Twitter makes money by selling its tweet data to third parties, like marketing and advertising agencies looking to get insights into consumer conversations.

To do this, Twitter has partnered with data resellers like DataSift and NTT which are allowed to resell Twitter’s “Firehose” of tweets. But both of those relationships are coming to an end.

One year ago, Twitter bought another one of those data partners, Gnip, and brought more of the data-selling business in-house. Now, it’s cutting off the competition entirely.

“After acquiring Gnip in May of 2014, we decided to bring all data licensing activity in-house in order to better serve our customers and partners,” a Twitter spokesperson told Re/code in an email.

According to one source, Twitter alerted these partners almost a year ago that the relationships would end. Upfront Ventures partner and DataSift investor Mark Suster confirmed as much in a tweet Saturday morning.

DataSift founder and CEO Nick Halstead wrote in a blog post Friday night that the two companies have had ongoing conversations despite the warning, but things didn’t work out.

“For several months now, we’ve been working hard to renew our contract with Twitter,” he wrote. “The negotiations were promising. At several points, we felt a deal was imminent … This is an extremely disappointing result to us and the ecosystem of companies we have helped to build solutions around Twitter data.”

Twitter makes most of its revenue through advertising, but selling data is a significant part of the business, too. Last year, Twitter brought in $147 million in “data licensing and other,” so there is money to be had.

The DataSift and Twitter partnership goes back to 2011. DataSift customers will have access to Twitter’s Firehose until Aug. 13.

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