An Open Letter to Sad Topsy Users: It’s Time to Move On

Dear Topsy users,

We get that you’re sad. Apple shut down Topsy and the world might be over. It’s always hard to lose a loved one, especially when it made your searching binges so much easier.

In case you still don’t understand why Apple even bought Topsy to begin with, here’s the jist. Unlike many users’ predictions, Apple didn’t buy Topsy with the intention of using their social content aggregation tool. In fact, Apple never had much interest in Twitter to begin with (to this day, they haven’t tweeted once). So, why did Apple spend $200 million on this acquisition and then decide to shut it down?

This move was the beginning of a war against Google.

With users increasingly using their mobile devices to run searches (as opposed to desktop), it became clear that this was an opportunity to disrupt the way that users search and shift their attention away from the traditional search engine. And Topsy’s scalable, lightning fast and indexing functionalities could help Apple to do that.

Although there are still many additional theories on why Apple acquired Topsy, the truth is that it’s time to move on (tough love, we know).

Ever since its downfall, we’ve been on the search for new and free alternatives that provide the same quality of analytics, insights and content to replace your beloved tool. Here’s what we’ve discovered.


Renoun is a new tool that allows you search for the most trending and recent content from around the globe, rated by social media performance. This is a great tool for finding the best curated content, getting ideas for article/blog post titles, and connecting with relevant influencers and publications.

With Renoun, you can also view your industry influencers’ content in in boards, similar to Pinterest.

The same functionality works with publishers and authors. So for example, you can view all of Forbes’ articles ranked by their popularity (i.e., amount of shares). In addition, you can create your own user account and bookmark articles to read later.

TweetReach by Union Metrics

TweetReach is similar to Topsy in that it allows you to track any URL, account, hashtag or keyword on Twitter dating back to 2006. With in depth engagement and listening insights, TweetReach also provides tools for Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram as well.

Within your account, you can easily share your personal dashboard to show team members relevant insights and content. The first 100 searches on TweetReach are free, but after that, they ask that you sign up for a minimum $99/month subscription. Click here to learn more about their pricing options.

Social Mention

Social Mention is ideal for those who want to know what others are saying about them, their brand, or their products. It then rates the content by sentiment (positive, negative, etc), date and popularity, and commentator. Going beyond just the generic platforms, Social Mention aggregates content from over 100 tools to provide you with the most in depth and detailed information. This is perfect for brands who want to be constantly in the know with product reviews and find feedback that they might not otherwise be aware of.


KeyHole allows you to find detailed metrics on links, hashtags and and keywords from both Twitter and Instagram. With an insane amount of features and tools for specific industries (everything from journalists to marketers to CEOs), KeyHole is perfect for those seeking the most diverse range of insights dating back to 20


The tool is completely free for content searches from the past seven days, but if you’re looking for content that goes back before then, they require a $130/month membership. Read more about their pricing options here.

What it comes down to

With every day that passes, content discovery becomes more and more important to marketers, journalists, PR executives and CEOs. It’s essential to understanding your market, your target audiences, and even your competitors.

There are so many options out there, but let’s be honest: there’s no reason you should have to pay for them. The best content should be completely accessible and easily at your fingertips. Although Apple’s reasons for acquiring Topsy weren’t totally clear in the beginning, the fact that it was acquired by Apple says enough about its quality. RIP, Topsy, but it’s time to move on.

Lena Elkins is a Social Media + Content Marketing Consultant based in Tel Aviv. Connect with Lena on Facebook or email at to discuss how you can amplify your brand’s vision and story.

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