Wal-Mart recently bought a social media data company that offers the retail giant unprecedented insight into communities and consumers.

Yesterday, Wal-Mart made an acquisition of a company One Riot.

It’s a purchase that could easily escape most people’s radar, since the company is tiny and focused in a very specialized area.

On paper, the company is in the mobile space and provides ad targeting technology, but if you dig deeper by simply reading their blog posts- you get a good idea of why Wal-Mart purchased the company.

Here’s an extract from one of the company’s blog posts.

Based on publicaly available social data that we license via our friends at Gnip, we’ve generated user interest maps for just north of 75MM active Twitter users. This number gets bigger every day as we suck in more Tweets from the licensed hose. Meanwhile, our demographic coverage is 80% accurate for about 80% of the Twitter population. These stats improve with every new release (approx every 3 weeks).

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