The canny social media manager with his finger on the market’s pulse may be interested to hear that Facebook Inc. is poised to buy Threadsy Inc., the startup software provider behind the celebrated social analytics tool Swaylo. The move paves the way for Facebook to offer better member data to advertisers and boost revenue.
An advertising boost
Swaylo’s addictive appeal lies in its assigning a “social influence” or “sway” score to social media users, reflecting how many consumers responded to their posts and spreading them around the network to friends and contacts. The savvier the content manager, the better the score. Unlike its social media monitoring cousin Klout, Swaylo is Facebook-specific, measuring influence within the network.
Threadsy is reported to have raised $6.3 million in funding, but all lips appear tightly sealed about how much Facebook is paying for the Swaylo acquisition. Rob Goldman, founder and CEO of Threadsy, refrained from talking figures and would only offer a plaudit to the social network giant, “We built Swaylo because we believe Facebook and other social media services are the digital representation of our lives. There is no better opportunity to take Swaylo’s vision to the next level than at Facebook.”
Limping or sprinting toward mobile?
The move comes at a time when Facebook is making strenuous efforts to prove its value to investors by developing a robust mobile platform. Given that over half of its 955 million users reach the network through mobile gadgets, this is proving crucial to its future. It’s an acknowledged weak spot for the firm which may have contributed significantly to the net $157 million loss it sustained in the second quarter of 2012. During the same quarter of 2011, Facebook’s coffers were bulging, with profits totaling $240 million.
Facebook’s value has plunged to $40 billion, less than half the market price tag it commanded in May when it went public.
Swaylo could well boost advertising revenue significantly for Facebook, but the jury on its future remains out: analysts believe that the performance of its stock hinges on showing investors it can attract advertising for mobiles. And with more and more of its users following the Great Mobile Revolution, a PC-focused social network is in danger of going the way of the proverbial Dodo unless it recovers its capacity for cutting-edge innovation.