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Oracle Buys Another Social Media Company: Involver

Oracle Buys Another Social Media Company: Involver
July 10, 2012 2:18PM

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Involver is the latest of Oracle's social media-related acquisitions. In May, Oracle announced it was buying Virtrue. Last month, Oracle purchased social intelligence solutions provider Collective Intellect and, in 2011, Oracle picked up customer service provider RightNow. All are expected to be integrated into the Oracle Cloud platform.

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Oracle is upping its bet on social media. On Tuesday, the technology giant announced it is buying Involver, which will become part of its Oracle Cloud marketing platform.

Terms of the deal were not announced. Involver provides software tools so that companies can interact with users on such sites as Facebook and Twitter, through customized Web pages, responses to user comments, app creation via templates, or custom development.

Social Markup Language

Formed in 2007, the San Francisco-based Involver said that its clients include Best Buy, Toys "R" Us, MTV Networks, Sony Pictures and Coach.

Involver is best known for its Social Markup Language, or SML, which is designed for use by front-end developers with at least basic HTML, CSS, and Javascript skills for creating social apps that include sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos, coupons and other features.

SML takes care of interfacing with application programming interfaces, or APIs, as well as with databases and assets, so that apps do not need to be re-created if APIs or other interfaces change.

SML includes drag-and-drop tools and pre-built apps. In a posting on its corporate blog, Involver CEO Don Beck wrote Tuesday that the acquisition "is expected to create the most advanced and comprehensive cloud-based social solution, across marketing, sales and service touch points."

He added that Involver's technology will extend "Oracle's social platform to help customers more easily and cost-effectively collaborate and build engaging applications and social experiences across social networks."

On its Web site, Oracle announced Tuesday that it had entered into the purchase agreement. The two companies, it said in a statement similar to Involver's, "are looking to harness the full potential of social media to increase brand loyalty, connect with potential customers and anticipate buyers' needs."

Virtrue, Collective Intellect

Involver is the latest of Oracle's social media-related acquisitions. In May, Oracle announced it was buying Virtrue, a vendor of social marketing solutions that provides tools for conducting marketing campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.

Last month, it purchased social intelligence solutions provider Collective Intellect and, in 2011, it picked up customer service provider RightNow. All three acquisitions are expected to be integrated with Involver in the Oracle Cloud platform.

Forrester Research has projected that the market for social media management tools will more than double by 2016. Oracle is positioning itself in the enterprise social media market, where competitors Salesforce, Microsoft and others have also been very active. In June, for instance, Microsoft said it would pay $1.2 billion for Yammer, whose social networking tools are designed for collaboration and communication inside companies.

Also in June, Salesforce announced that, for about $700 million, it was buying Buddy Media, which provides services to create social media campaigns for companies. Buddy Media, and the now-Oracle-owned Virtrue, were competitors. Last year, Salesforce bought social media monitoring service Radian6 for about $300 million.

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