Enterprise social software provider Jive Software Jan. 7 said it has purchased Filtrbox for an undisclosed sum, marking the first of what could be several acquisitions of social media monitoring tools that detect memes coalescing on Web services.
Filtrbox, whose customers include Kohler, Dairy Queen and Cigna, makes analysis widgets and reporting software that monitors, or “listens to,” conversation threads on Web services such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social media outlets.
The technology identifies key themes or trends around certain topics, such as a company or product, and then provides reports with graphs and charts to its customers.
These customers can gauge how a market segment or target audience feels about their product or service, and then respond within the context of that Web service to answer questions, clear up misconceptions or even defend their offering from attacks by competitors.
Think of it as a sort of business intelligence for the social Web at a time when real-time conversations about companies, products and services are lighting up modern message boards like Twitter, FriendFeed and a thousand other Web services.
“We looked at all of the top providers in the space, and Filtrbox truly wowed us with incredible technology, a similar vision for the real-time enterprise, and an accessible, user-friendly application that makes it easy to prioritize feeds and dial the ‘noise’ up or down to manage information overload,” wrote Jive CEO Dave Hersh in a blog post Jan. 7.
For example, Jive said in a statement that Filtrbox uses intelligence to adjust rankings based on how the user interacts with the data, and offers the ability to analyze the trends and influencers in an enterprise’s market. Filtrbox is also a cloud computing app that meshes with Jive’s strategy for expanding its cloud offerings going forward.
Initially, Jive will integrate Filtrbox technology into the Jive Market Engagement solution, which lets marketers get a handle on what users are saying about their brands online. The purchase and positioning of Filtrbox is a tad curious because Jive already offers social media monitoring software for Jive Market Engagement, courtesy of Filtrbox rival Radian6.
Jive said it will continue to support customers who use an integrated Jive-Radian6 solution and will continue its alliance with Radian6. However, it will be interesting to see how long Jive supports this arrangement given the overlap between Filtrbox and Radian6.
The company will ultimately integrate the Filtrbox capabilities into its Social Business Suite 4.0 collaboration suite, which it launched last October with cloud computing hooks into Microsoft Office.
Joining Jive and Radian6 in the market for social media monitoring tools are Socialcast, Mzinga and Attensity, which has been monitoring the buzz around Google’s Nexus One smartphone.
Now that Filtrbox has folded its tent for Jive, the market can expect to see further consolidation, with larger social software providers acquiring the smaller social media monitoring startups en masse.
This is similar to the white-label social software binge in 2007 and early 2008 (Demand Media-Pluck, Mzinga-Prospero, Onesite-Social Platform), before the bottom dropped out of the economy.