Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Here Comes The Flood: Major VC Fims Funding Corporate Media Push Into Social Media

Posted by Tom Foremski - August 16, 2011

Somewhat lost in Monday's news because of Google's acquisition of Motorola, Buddy Media, a New York startup raised $54 million at a $500 million valuation.

Buddy Media helps corporations set up and run their presence on a wide range of social networks.

From Buddy Media:

We are in the midst of a massive shift online from a search and intent-based world to a social, people-based world. The last three years were about the consumer side of social platforms, as we watched Facebook, Zynga and Twitter grow exponentially.

The next three years will about the enterprise side of social, and how companies engage and grow their businesses by tapping into these massive platforms. Buddy Media plans to help accelerate this movement by providing our clients easy-to-use and powerful tools to help them tap into these social platforms to increase revenues, find new customers, and build deeper relationships with current customers and more.

Foremski's Take: This is a good example of a key trend: the flood of corporate media that will be hitting social networks over the coming years.

[Please see: Social Media Is Not Corporate Media - SVW]

Buddy Media has some big VC firms behind it which means lots of other VC firms will, sheep-like, jump onto other, similar investments. That ups the pressure on corporations to be very active in social media. But corporate media is not social media -- businesses should be listening to the conversations rather than trying to actively engage users.

[Please see: I Don't Want A Social Media Relationship With My Hard Drive - SVW]

What will happen to social networks as more and more corporations feel the need to "engage" and become desperate to do something in social media?

Clearly, social media won't be the same experience for users that it is now, and that first attracted them to social networks.

Will corporate media make social media better? It's unlikely. Even those corporations that take a light approach are at the mercy of the corporations that take a heavy approach and end up alienating millions of people towards corporate media on social networks.

My prediction is that people will move to less visible communities, where they can hang out with others, in places that aren't in full view of the corporate eye -- which is ever vigilant and ever wanting to become "part of the conversation."


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