Viggle Acquires Wetpaint

viggleViggle, the television and music loyalty service launched in 2012, has acquired Wetpaint, an entertainment media and technology company focused on television fans, for approximately $30 million in cash and stock.

Wetpaint provides original content to over 12 million monthly unique users and provides a way for fans to stay connected with celebrities and TV shows.

“Wetpaint is the perfect complement to our business for users, TV network partners and advertisers,” said Greg wetpaintConsiglio, President and COO of Viggle. “This combined company brings together Viggle’s proven promotion, entertainment rewards and monetization capabilities with Wetpaint’s reach, social distribution technologies and best-in-class content. Wetpaint leverages the power of social media to ensure TV fans are getting the latest news and commentary about the shows they love, and enables us to expand our offering to before, during and after the show airs.”

For marketers, this acquisition creates significant opportunities to reach a passionate audience with targeted messages across an “always on” entertainment experience that now includes multiple touch points and platforms. Marketers already benefit from Viggle’s extensive reward program, as well as in-app advertising, and that will now be extended through Wetpaint’s online content and social media streams.

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USA, New York, NY

Livefyre acquires social storytelling platform Storify

livefyreLivefyre has acquired Storify, the drag-and-drop storytelling tool. Livefyre will integrate Storify into its StreamHub platform.

Founded in 2010, Storify was created to help journalists sift through the massive amounts of social content around news events to create multimedia stories that can be embedded anywhere. PR agencies use the social curation tool to hand-select social content for websites, microsites and advertising campaigns. Storify is  used by nearly one million journalists, agencies and brands to tell stories online, including the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, EA Sports, Ford, GE, HBO, IBM, Microsoft, Marc Jacobs, Samsung, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

storify“Acquiring Storify made perfect sense,” said Jordan Kretchmer, founder and CEO of Livefyre. “Livefyre powers social media and user engagement on the largest media properties and brands on the web. Storify also delivers a unique and vital curation tool for journalists and editors at many of those same companies. Now our enterprise users will be able to manage Storify content from the same centralized Livefyre dashboard where they’re already managing all of their social and user-generated content. With the addition of Storify, StreamHub is now the only real-time platform that enables both editorial and automated content curation from all the major social networks including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”

Storify currently offers three levels of service to its users: Free, Business and VIP. With this acquisition, the Storify Free product will continue to be offered as it is now. The teams will merge Storify’s multiple paid tiers into a single enterprise offering that will include additional new features such as single sign-on to create stories, centralised story and editor management, Storify galleries, user participation tools, automated media filtering and engagement analytics.

Storify co-founder Burt Herman added: “We created Storify to unite journalism and social media, helping to tell stories that come alive with eyewitness reports from where news is happening. Joining Livefyre means our users, including journalists and now brands and agencies, will be able to integrate social media easily across their websites, and also into mobile apps, ads and TV broadcasts. We can now also help publishers make more revenue through native ads.”

Co-founders Xavier Damman and Burt Herman will join the Livefyre team, along with Storify employees from product, engineering and support. Damman will continue to oversee the Storify product, and Herman will lead relations for all of Livefyre’s editorial users and partners.

Storify becomes the first acquisition by Livefyre since its founding in 2009.

USA, San Francisco, CA

Twitter acquires Spindle

twitter3Twitter has acquired Boston-based app maker Spindle Labs. Spindle was founded by Pat Kinsel and Alex lambert. Spindle helps you discover the best social updates from nearby shops, restaurants, bars, event venues, parks, museums and galleries, community organisations, and other attractions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Spindle app has been removed from the App Store.

Here is the announcement on the Spindle blog.

We’re very proud to announce that Spindle has been acquired by Twitter.

We’ve spent the past two and a half years building a product that helps you answer the question: “What’s happening nearby right now?” Every time we’ve experimented and looked beyond local discovery, we’ve been amazed by the breadth and quality of content shared on Twitter. By joining forces with Twitter, we can do so much more to help you find interesting, timely, and useful information about what’s happening around you.

The Spindle team will be relocating and joining the Twitter team in San Francisco. As part of this change, we’ll be sunsetting the Spindle service today to focus on these new and exciting opportunities.

To our users, friends, families, investors, advisors, and everyone else: thank you for your support. It’s been an incredible journey and we couldn’t have gotten here without you.

- The Spindle Team

USA, San Francisco, CA & Boston, MA

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Infusionsoft acquires social media marketing company GroSocial

infusion-logoInfusionsoft has acquired social media marketing software company GroSocial. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GroSocial’s web-based software allows small businesses to easily build and track social media marketing campaigns that generate leads across popular social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Earlier this month, Infusionsoft announced $54 million in growth capital financing led by Goldman Sachs.

“As we considered an acquisition in the social media marketing space we were looking for three key factors,” says Hal Halladay, Infusionsoft SVP of corporate development. “We wanted an affordable but powerful product that made social media lead generation simple for true small businesses and that could easily integrate with our software. We wanted a team that could bring to Infusionsoft grosocialdeep knowledge and expertise in social media marketing. Finally, we wanted a company that shared our passion to help small businesses succeed. GroSocial was the undisputed leader in all three areas. I don’t know if we could have found a better strategic and cultural fit than the GroSocial team.”

Founded in 2010 by Zach Mangum, Kevin Kirkland and Chris Wright, GroSocial currently has more than 30,000 users. The 19-person GroSocial team will join Infusionsoft and push the company’s total employee count to 370, but will continue to operate as a dedicated product team in Utah. Mangum will continue to lead the Utah operation and will oversee, with Kirkland, the social product strategy for GroSocial.

This is Infusionsoft’s second acquisition. In Nov. 2011, Infusionsoft acquired CustomerHub, an online membership site and customer portal tool.

Today, there are more than 12,000 small businesses that use Infusionsoft to attract and capture leads, nurture and convert prospects automatically, grow sales and referrals, and save time.

USA, Chandler, AZ & Orem, Utah



Nielsen, NM Incite acquires SocialGuide

NM Incite, a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey & Company, has acquired SocialGuide, a leading provider of social TV measurement, analytics and audience engagement solutions.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

SocialGuide is a real-time social TV capture service covering programming across 232 U.S. TV channels in English and Spanish, and over 30,000 programs.  Built for linear TV, SocialGuide’s intelligent analytics and engagement platform provides insight on the social impact of TV, enabling networks to engage with the social fan base in realtime.

SocialGuide will be integrated immediately into NM Incite, the hub of Nielsen’s social media measurement and analytics efforts.  SocialGuide’s software technology and data streams complement NM Incite’s existing software and data solutions.  Together, Nielsen, NM Incite and SocialGuide will focus on efforts to quantify the relationship between social TV and TV ratings to enable advertisers to maximize the impact of their spend, and provide new research metrics to understand social TV’s impact on consumer behavior and viewing habits.

“The opportunity in social TV is too big to ignore and there is a need for standard metrics and research to uncover the effect of social TV on programming and advertising strategies,” said Andrew Somosi, CEO of NM Incite.  “TV networks are expanding their research, advertising and engagement efforts across social media. The powerful combination of Nielsen, NM Incite and SocialGuide will enable us to deliver unparalleled insights and capabilities to our TV and advertiser clients.”

USA, New York, NY

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Gannett acquires social media marketing solutions company BLiNQ Media

Gannett Co., Inc. has acquired BLiNQ Media LLC, a global innovator of Social Engagement AdvertisingSM solutions for agencies and brands. Since 2008, BLiNQ has managed social media marketing campaigns for more than 600 of the world’s largest advertisers.

“With demand for social media marketing solutions continuing to grow at a rapid pace, this acquisition is part of our ongoing transformation at Gannett and positions us to be a leader in both local and global social media marketing. BLiNQ will enhance Gannett Digital Marketing Services’ ability to deliver a one-stop shop for all marketing needs, including social marketing,” said Gracia Martore, president and CEO at Gannett.

BLiNQ will continue to operate its core business as part of Gannett’s portfolio of brands, providing technology and media solutions for social advertising and engagement to agencies and brands. As part of Gannett’s Digital Marketing Services organization, BLiNQ will help develop innovative social marketing solutions for businesses that want to reach local consumers. Gannett Digital Marketing Services will fully leverage BLiNQ’s BAM 2.0 technology platform, which facilitates social media campaign planning, set-up, management, optimization and insights. BLiNQ will have a strong focus on delivering robust solutions for local social engagement at scale, including working closely with ShopLocal to help shape best practices and results in reaching, engaging and building loyalty with retail consumers via social media. Dave Williams, BLiNQ’s CEO, will report to Vikram Sharma, president and CEO at Gannett Digital Marketing Services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BLiNQ’s headquarters will remain at TechSpace in New York City and its technology, finance and marketing groups will remain based in Atlanta. BLiNQ’s sales and support offices will continue in London, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

USA, McLean, VA & New York, NY

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Project: WorldWide acquires social marketing firm Affinitive

Project: WorldWide has acquiredAffinitive, a word-of-mouth and social media agency and Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) that handles consumer assignments for brands such as Random House, E.&J. Gallo Winery, Major League Soccer and Ubisoft. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in New York City, Affinitive provides social business solutions combining innovative consumer engagement strategies with proprietary technology, real-time monitoring and integration with clients’ existing enterprise systems to create a seamless platform for creating and executing integrated brand programs.

Over the course of a decade and more than 200 campaigns, Affinitive has created and managed online brand communities, customer insight/advisory panels, loyalty/rewards programs, social and mobile applications, digital promotions and much more. As a founding member of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, the group is recognized as an industry pioneer and a leader within the industry’s ongoing efforts to evolve social media marketing practices and standards.

“Affinitive is a natural fit for Project in that we share the same belief about how brands must adapt to spark two-way dialogue and actively participate in customer-driven conversations,” said Robert G. Vallee Jr., Chairman & CEO of Project: WorldWide. “Brands today seek to engage through more meaningful stories and experiences, and Affinitive will help advance our mission to do just that.”

USA, Auburn Hills, MI & New York, NY

LinkedIn acquires SlideShare

LinkedIn has acquired professional content sharing platform SlideShare for $119 million in cash and stock.

According to Audrey William, Head of ICT Research for Frost & Sullivan Australia & New Zealand, Social Media is gathering a lot of momentum in the business space and this is a very strategic acquisition for LinkedIn simply because it has always been a professional networking platform.

“Now that content can be shared, uploaded, viewed amongst liked minded individuals, LinkedIn will be the strongest social media network for professionals,” she continued.

LinkedIn, whose shares have more than doubled since its initial public offering in May 2011, said membership has increased to 161 million from 150 million in the fourth quarter. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner is pushing mobile technology to woo more professionals to its subscription services and attract advertisers who want to reach the growing user base.

“The company has in recent years done quite a few amazing things to its portal including allowing for twitter feeds to be sent via LinkedIn and that itself has brought about a lot of discussion amongst professionals,” said William.

LinkedIn is in a very unique position at this juncture, as not many companies out there have such a model. LinkedIn is now starting to take away revenue from traditional recruitment and headhunting agencies that charge high fees for the recruitment of professionals.

William added, “In years to come it will be very common for companies to move away from such agencies and place advertisements through LinkedIn. Companies will be able to get information about candidates through their profiles, interactions, twitter feeds as well as forums they are on. That is a pretty attractive way for a HR manager or recruiter to identify candidates.”

LinkedIn’s model seeks revenue via various areas such as premium membership, recruitment fees and advertising. Frost & Sullivan expects this to continue and see LinkedIn grow their revenues effectively via these models.

“It will become an attractive platform for advertising and recruitment and will be the ‘Facebook’ of the professional networking world,” said William.

Jake Wengroff, Frost & Sullivan’s Global Director, Social Media Strategy & Research blogged his thoughts when the news broke saying, ‘the numbers are clear, 9 million presentations have been uploaded to SlideShare, and the site received 29 million unique visitors in March.  These numbers fit in nicely with LinkedIn’s 161 global members.  SlideShare has been an app available through the LinkedIn interface for quite some time.  Bringing the service in-house will only strengthen the alliance. LinkedIn is clearly on an acquisition streak — aiming to become a B2B or professional social network powerhouse — and injecting the principles of social business to every endpoint it touches.”

In late February, the company acquired Rapportive, a Gmail plugin that makes both consumer Gmail as well as enterprise Gmail via Google Apps or Google Apps for Business more social. Wengroff said, “The Rapportive and SlideShare acquisitions both make sense.  In a world of social CRM, in which professionals in any department inside an organization are mining social networks for signals, content and messages from their clients, prospects, partners, and employees, a repository of content and a socialized inbox clearly point to the future.”

USA, Mountain View, CA & Australia, Sydney

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Twitter acquires Posterous

Blogging platform Posterous has been acquired by Twitter. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Twitter released a statement saying that it will be bringing the Posterous team on board and continue to keep Posterous Spaces alive. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Posterous is backed by Y Combinator, Redpoint Ventures and Trinity Ventures, plus a group of angel investors. The business was founded by Sachin Agarwal  in 2005.

Posterous announcement:

The opportunities in front of Twitter are exciting, and we couldn’t be happier about bringing our team’s expertise to a product that reaches hundreds of millions of users around the globe. Plus, the people at Twitter are genuinely nice folks who share our vision for making sharing simpler.

Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption. We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we’ll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks.

You can find more information answers to other questions you may have here.

Finally, we’d like to offer thanks to all of our users, especially those who have been with Posterous since day one. The last four years have been an amazing journey. Your encouragement, praise and criticism have made us better.  Thanks for that. We look forward to building great things for you over at Twitter.

USA, San Francisco

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Are CNN about to buy Mashable?

It is being reported that CNN are in advanced talks to buy Mashable for up to $200M.

Mashable describes itself as the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology. It stories are syndicated to publications including ABC News, CNN, Metro, USA Today and Yahoo! News.

Mashable was founded by Pete Cashmore in 2005 in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, supposedly from his bedroom as “something to do without getting out of bed”. Mashable is now headquartered in New York City, with an office in San Francisco and has more than 40 staff across the United States, United Kingdom and in Eastern Europe.

Last August CNN bought Zite, a news app for the iPad that gives users a personalised magazine-like experience, for up to £16million.

Other reporting

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CNN acquires Zite Posted on September 5, 2011

USA, New York, NY & Scotland, Aberdeenshire


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