Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Salesforce.com Gets Access to Twitter’s Fire Hose

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Salesforce.com announced late tonight that it has signed a strategic alliance with Twitter that will bring the global “firehose” of 400 million daily tweets right inside its Radian6 social intelligence application.

Radian6 is the Canadian social analytics outfit for which Salesforce paid $326 million in March of 2011. Since then it has turned out to be one of the most important deals that CEO Marc Benioff has done since starting the company. Radian6 offers a cloud-based service to companies to monitor in real time what people are saying about them and their products on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, as well as on blogs and Web forums.

It also bears repeating that this deal with Twitter is taking place against the backdrop of the $689 million acquisition by Salesforce of Buddy Media about two weeks ago.

Radian6 customers will get access to Twitter’s direct feed of Tweets, which is quickly becoming a key source of brand and business intelligence. When you want to know what people think about your brand, Twitter is the place to find out, because it and Facebook are where consumers go to say what’s on their minds, ask questions and so on.

The announcement is sort of sketchy on one key point: Financial terms. There’s no way that access to the “firehose” comes for free, but there’s no mention of what Salesforce did or didn’t pay. Twitter, as a privately held company, wouldn’t have to disclose it. And for Salesforce, the amount would only have to be disclosed if it were material, which apparently it’s not. And if Twitter got no financial consideration, then there must be some other benefit it’s getting. Perhaps now that it’s got an advertising strategy there’s some benefit in allowing advertisers easy access to the stream in order to do the analysis needed to plan future campaigns and figure out if their money is being spent well. We’ll see.

Another thing that’s missing? The word “exclusive.” Will other companies be able to get the same level of access that Salesforce enjoys? Again, we’ll see.


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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google