Salesforce.com and Social Media: Chatter Announcement

20 11 2009

Salesforce.com announced Salesforce Chatter yesterday at Dreamforce 2010. Chatter is social media for enterprise users integrated into their core platform. It is designed to connect people with people and people with content and applications. Given that Salesforce itself is an on-demand, SaaS, application platform, this seems like the next logical step for the company and its community.

Salesforce Chatter Features

  • Secure social media environment
  • With user profiles, social interaction, feeds
  • Newsfeeds within Chatter, presumably relating to work activities
  • Integration with Facebook and Twitter for news feeds and profile information
  • Chatter will extend these profiles within its environment to include what projects you are working on what customers you are working with
  • Also will be integrated with the other 135,000 applications that run on the Salesforce platform.

Implications of this Announcement

  • Immediately puts Salesforce.com in a leadership position in social media and community building, where it was already very strong.
  • Stand-alone business communities such as Yammer are in for some difficult competition.
  • Chatter will be very interesting competition to Microsoft Sharepoint and IBM Lotus collaboration offerings in the enterprise space. I’m assuming that the typical SaaS pricing of this offering will be very competitive.
  • Social Media Marketing is all about building a community around your product and building an authentic two-way interaction with your community. How better to do this than by building the functionality right into the product so that your users do not have to go anywhere else?
  • First mover advantage: How many products out there can build social community into their products and be able to achieve critical mass with their communities? It has to be easier for the earlier movers.

Salesforce Chatter is due to ship in February 2010. We will see a lot more concrete information on this when it gets into customer hands. This will be yet another really interesting space to watch as time goes on.

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