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The Boston Globe

Business

Twitter’s TV future started in Cambridge

Bluefin Labs purchase will help social media giant mine tweets for data advertisers crave

So Twitter hasn’t made money just being a social media darling. Instead it is relying on a medium from another century — your television set — to sell broadcasters and advertisers new methods to more directly connect with their core audiences.

And for that it turned to a small outfit in Cambridge, Bluefin Labs, which it bought earlier this year for $67.3 million. Born out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bluefin has developed a clever tool to mine Twitter to gauge viewers’ reactions to television shows and commercials. And now as part of prepping for its initial public offering expected for later this year, Twitter is talking to investors about how Bluefin will help turn a money-losing enterprise into a profit machine.

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