The story of Socialdatabase

Few people would place data management on par with the thrills and adventure of the Paris to Dakar rally. However, for Roland Rijpma, a retired data scientist turned rally driver, the vast amounts of data generated by the explosive growth of social media became as exhilarating as the arid dunes of North Africa.

A university research thesis by Thomas Slabbers reignited Roland's passion for data, prompting his "un-retirement." The paper, "You are who you follow—A deeper analysis of how people act on Twitter," crystallized Roland’s perspective on the immense potential of analyzing the ever-growing public data on Twitter.

In July 2013, Roland, Thomas, and data engineer Peter Versteegen co-founded Socialdatabase. It wasn't long before their unique data-complexity analysis of publicly available Twitter data successfully generated fact-backed insights and defined behaviorally predictive audiences. Socialdatabase’s servers began operating 24/7, processing and recategorizing vast amounts of data.

By 2015, Twitter noticed this significant data consumption and sought an explanation. During a meeting at Twitter’s San Francisco HQ, Thomas detailed how Socialdatabase had downloaded, restructured, and analyzed the entire Twitter database. Twitter was impressed not only by the scale but also by the efficacy of the restructuring, recognizing Socialdatabase's deep understanding of the Twitter database.

Following that pivotal meeting in San Francisco, Socialdatabase's trajectory took a remarkable turn. Socialdatabase quickly became Twitter's first official API partner. From its beginnings with a single server, it expanded to a database of over 23 trillion structured data points.

Now established as an X (former Twitter) Marketing Partner, Socialdatabase operates from offices in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Dubai, and Tokyo, delivering audience targeting solutions to clients like Google, Nike, and Microsoft. As the journey continues, Thomas Slabbers steers the daily operations from Amsterdam, while Roland Rijpma focuses on improving, and enlarging the database, and continues to keep his entrepreneurial eyes open for the next exciting opportunity.

The story of Socialdatabase

Few people would place data management on par with the Paris to Dakar rally when it comes to thrills and adventure. But, to retired data-scientist turned rally driver, Roland Rijpma the mountains of data created by the explosive growth of the social media were becoming just as exciting as the arid dunes of north Africa.

It was a research thesis by university student Thomas Slabbers that tipped the balance in the favor of data, and set the stage for Roland’s “un-retirement”.

The paper: You are who you follow — A deeper analysis of how people act on Twitter crystalized Roland’s thoughts on the unprecedented opportunity presented by the rapidly growing amounts of publicly available data generated by the social media.

How to make a website: Page 03

In July 2013, Roland, Thomas, and data engineer Peter Versteegen joined forces to found Socialdatabase. Beginning with publicly accessible Twitter data, it was not long before their data-complexity approach to analytics proved to be uniquely successful at generating fact-backed insights, and defining behaviorally predictive audiences.

How to make a website: Page 03

Soon Socialdatabase’s servers were running 24/7, devouring, re-categorizing, and analyzing massive amounts of data. By 2015 this unprecedented appetite for data had not go unnoticed by Twitter who asked for an explanation.

How to make a website: Page 07

At a meeting in Twitter’s San Francisco HQ Thomas explained how socialdatabase had downloaded, completely restructured, and analyzed the Twitter database. Twitter was surprised by the size, and effectiveness of this data restructuring. They immediately recognized that Socialdatabase had such a clear understanding of the Twitter database. Twitter were more than impressed. Rather than objecting to this as an overstep, the result of the meeting was an invitation to become Twitters first official API partner. This opened doors to even more of Twitters database, and with that, even deeper understanding.

How to make a website: Page 09

Since 2013 Socialdatabase has grown from a single server to a database of over 23 trillion structured data points. Today we are a Twitter Marketing Partner with offices in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Dubai, and Tokyo. We deliver tailored audiences and insights to clients including Twitter, Google, Nike, Heineken, Philips, Nutricia, Samsung, and Slack.

How to make a website: Page 11

Thomas Slabbers continues to run daily operations from Amsterdam, while Roland Rijpma focuses on improving, and enlarging our database, and keeping his entrepreneurial eyes open for the next exciting opportunity.

How to make a website: Page 17

The story of Socialdatabase

Few people would place data management on par with the Paris to Dakar rally when it comes to thrills and adventure. But, to retired data-scientist turned rally driver, Roland Rijpma the mountains of data created by the explosive growth of the social media were becoming just as exciting as the arid dunes of north Africa.

It was a research thesis by university student Thomas Slabbers that tipped the balance in the favor of data, and set the stage for Roland’s “un-retirement”.

The paper: You are who you follow — A deeper analysis of how people act on Twitter crystalized Roland’s thoughts on the unprecedented opportunity presented by the rapidly growing amounts of publicly available data generated by the social media.

In July 2013, Roland, Thomas, and data engineer Peter Versteegen joined forces to found Socialdatabase. Beginning with publicly accessible Twitter data, it was not long before their data-complexity approach to analytics proved to be uniquely successful at generating fact-backed insights, and defining behaviorally predictive audiences.

Soon Socialdatabase’s servers were running 24/7, devouring, re-categorizing, and analyzing massive amounts of data. By 2015 this unprecedented appetite for data had not go unnoticed by Twitter who asked for an explanation.

At a meeting in Twitter’s San Francisco HQ Thomas explained how socialdatabase had downloaded, completely restructured, and analyzed the Twitter database. Twitter was surprised by the size, and effectiveness of this data restructuring. They immediately recognized that Socialdatabase had such a clear understanding of the Twitter database. Twitter were more than impressed. Rather than objecting to this as an overstep, the result of the meeting was an invitation to become Twitters first official API partner. This opened doors to even more of Twitters database, and with that, even deeper understanding.

Image: Thomas in front of the Twitter HQ 2007

Since 2013 Socialdatabase has grown from a single server, to a database of over 23 trillion structured data points. Today we are a Twitter Official Partner, and a preferred partner of Facebook. With offices in Amsterdam, Atlanta and Dubai, we deliver tailored audiences and insights to clients including Twitter, Google, Nike, Heineken, Philips, Nutricia, Samsung, and Slack.

Thomas Slabbers continues to run daily operations from Amsterdam, while Roland Rijpma focuses on improving, and enlarging our database, and keeping his entrepreneurial eyes open for the next exciting opportunity.

Our purpose

Making ads relevant on X by connecting advertisers to the right audience and providing deep, meaningful insights to help them understand who they are talking to.

Deep human connections are invaluable. At Socialdatabase, we delve into understanding this connectivity on X (formerly Twitter), where global trends begin. X is emotion, fun, and diverse perspectives—the voice of the people. We unlock this rich source of human insights.

Our principle

Our belief in the principle that “You are who you follow” grounds our targeting approach in the idea that users on X follow those they genuinely want to hear from, leading to more engaged conversations.

By reimagining the world's largest public database, we deliver exceptionally receptive audiences. Our methods are more precise, scalable, and responsive than traditional analytics firms. Instead of just keywords and profile data, we delve into underlying connections, interactions, and behaviors, offering unparalleled audience precision and effectiveness.

Our people

We have one of the world’s in depth databases, but it’s our diverse staff from 19 different nationalities that are the heart of Socialdatabase.

Thomas Slabbers

Founder & CEO

@Thomasslabbers

Roland Rijpma

Founder & R&D

@socialdatabase

Peter Versteegen

Founder & CTO

@VersteegenPeter

Duco Janssen

COO

@ducoluno

Joran Cornelisse

Director of Technology

@CornelisseJoran

Ingrid Doesburg

Director of Operations

@IngridvWijk

Emma van Kampen

Motion Designer

@deueum

Peter van Kampen

Infra & Ops

@socialdatabase

Judith Mennens

HR & Finance

@JudithMennens

Henry Zweers

Audience Creator

@mxenrsportspics

Maureen Burton

Business Development EMEA

@mauburton

Fares El Masri

Business Development MENA

@FaresElMasri

Gerben Wolters

Tech Support

@GerbenWolters

Doeke de Wolf

Frontend Developer

@socialdatabase

Carolinde Freundenberg

HR & Finance

@socialdatabase

Luisa Zimmermann

Digital and Performance Marketing Manager

@ZmnLuisa

Thomas Dekker

Audience Creator

@ThomasDkkr

Claire Amson

Audience Creator

@Claire_Amson

Yuri Ueda

Business Development Japan & APAC

@YuriUeda7

Taco Remkes

Personal Development

@TacoRemkes

Reshma Remesh

Business Development India

@resh_remesh

Jelger Algra

Audience Creator

@JelgerAlgra

Anca Axinoiu

Design

@axianca

JaĂŻr Klaver

Paid Social Manager

@KlaverJair

Kalyani

Backend Developer

@kalsberg_web

Yehya Eldeeb

Fullstack Developer

@Yehya__Eldeeb

See more