In the era of big data, one of the popular services that companies are flocking to is Gnip. With over 100 billion social activities reviewed and shared each month, there’s quite a bit of information that it has. And that’s why eight out of the nine social media monitoring firms use it, as well as 90% of those in the Fortune 500.

Recognizing that these companies view its service as being important, Gnip implemented a new partner program called “Plugged In To Gnip” designed to help it to continue to innovate and grow.

Like any business, Gnip is interested in making sure that it has the best products around. To accomplish that, it created its new partner program that will include 13 companies that it feels are doing something innovative that relies on a social data solution and deserve recognition — these are businesses that have perhaps acted as evangelists for the company and have helped to make the product side better while having a desire to use a comprehensive data set. Gnip says it’s been meaning to do something like this for a while, and now it’s a formalized thing that has been set in place.

The inaugural group of partners consist of IBM, EMC Greenplum, Splunk, Brandwatch, Hottolink, NetBase, FirstRain, Union Metrics, uberVU, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Clarabridge, Infochimps, and Networked Insights.

Chris Moody, President and COO of Gnip, says that “the social data ecosystem is maturing from the days when companies would scrape together disparate fragments of social data to power their solutions. By creating the Plugged In To Gnip program, we’re recognizing and proactively collaborating with clients and partners who are building their solutions on comprehensive, reliable and sustainable social data.”

We’re told that the partner companies will have the opportunity to receive specific products that will be exclusive to them. Other Gnip customers who wish to use these products won’t be able to purchase them directly from the service, but instead will need to contract with the specific partner company.

To date, Gnip has raised $6.6 million and is considered to be one of the first companies to offer social media API aggregation. Now it is competing with Datasift and other.

Photo credit: FRANK RUMPENHORST/AFP/Getty Images