Twitter has acquired Bluefin Labs, the social analytics company that tracks what consumers say about the shows and commercials they watch on TV and shares that data with marketers, agencies and TV networks.

In their own words, this purchase clearly reflects Twitter’s continuing “commitment to the social TV market” and builds on their partnership with Nielsen and the recently-announced Twitter TV Rating.

Amongst other services, Bluefin provides a daily analysis of the most social programs on U.S. television.

Twitter elaborated on the purchase in their blog:

We plan to collaborate closely with Nielsen and SocialGuide on product development and research to help brands, agencies, and networks fully understand the combined value of Twitter and TV.

As millions of people around the world experienced during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast, Twitter is an amazing complement to live television viewing. We look forward to working with Bluefin and our partners in the television industry to make the experience of Twitter and television even better.

Says Bluefin:

While our products have always included data from multiple social media services, the reality is that Twitter is the platform where the overwhelming majority ­– about 95% – of public real-time engagement with TV happens. So we couldn’t be more excited to join Twitter.

Our work in social TV measurement and analytics to date have meant that Bluefin Labs has necessarily taken an objective, but passive, role in the evolution of social TV. Now as part of Twitter, we look forward to working closely with Nielsen, TV networks, advertisers, agencies, and the rest of the TV ecosystem to help shape the future of social TV. Our core team based in Cambridge, MA will remain in that office and grow it over time.

Twitter says they will continue to honour existing Bluefin customer contracts, but will no longer sell the company’s products to new clients.

(Source: Twitter blog.)