Apple Just Shut Down the Best Way to Search Twitter

LEON NEAL AFP/Getty Images

It was never completely clear why Apple (AAPL) bought the social analytics platform Topsy Labs. And now it doesn’t matter anyway: Apple has shut the service down. If you try to visit Topsy’s web site, it now redirects to an Apple support page about how to search on an Apple mobile device.

Apple acquired the service in 2013 for a reported price of around $200 million. At the time, tech outlets wondered why: for its search capabilities, or for marketing advantages, or a sign of something bigger coming between Apple and Twitter? Topsy was one of only three authorized resellers of Twitter data. It also allowed for advanced searching of all tweets, a feature many Twitter (TWTR) users had longed for.

The shut down is not a total shock. About a year ago, the company stopped allowing premium users to renew their paid accounts, making it likely the service would soon disappear.

Now Topsy is no more—as the company itself announced on Tuesday night in a rather sad tweet—and Apple did not officially announce the move yet, and has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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