Breaking Analysis: Google Acquires Wildfire – Who Says Social Media Bubble is Popping

Google announced that it is acquiring Wildfire a social media infrastructure provider. Google’s product manager Jason Miller says that social presence can complement all marketing campaigns—search, display, video, mobile, offline ads and more.

Note:  Conversation on @techmeme is taking place.

Here is my Breaking Analysis.

Google taking Wildfire off the table is a strategic move to get into the Facebook ecosystem. This is the classic embrace and extend with access to Facebook with the ability to extend across Google Plus. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this moving to Google’s mobile play going forward.

This Google Wildfire deal is about fresher content and new social advertising capability. It also means that Google Analytics will be able to expand their tracking capability around social media which will include engagement. Google will be able to differentiate between organic and paid social media. This is consistent with their old search marketing model – organic results with paid ad words on side.

This social media infrastructure market is emerging fast with the leaders getting bought out. Buddy Media got bought earlier this year by Salesforce.

Wildfire has been doing well for quite sometime both on the revenue and market traction. No doubt the social media trend is for real and still vibrant. Thismoment.com is the remaining leader in the social media space still independent. I’ve written about Thismoment deal with Coke and Hunger Games in the past and think they have a killer business model. I can see Thismoment getting acquired next.

This Google Wildfire deal is about fresher content and new social advertising capability. It also means that Google Analytics will be able to expand their tracking capability around social media which will include engagement. Google will be able to differentiate between organic and paid social media. This is consistent with their old search marketing model – organic results with paid ad words on side.

From the Google blog post announcing the deal:

We’re happy to share that the Wildfire team will be joining Google. Their co-founders, Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard, launched their startup just four years ago. Since then, they and their team have built a service that helps businesses like Virgin, Cirque du Soleil, Gilt Group and Spotify manage their social efforts across numerous social websites. It’s a platform for brands to manage their pages, apps, tweets, videos, sponsorships, ads, promotions and more, all in one place.

The ultimate goal is better and fresher content, and more meaningful interactions. People today can make their voices heard in ways that were previously impossible, and Wildfire helps businesses uphold their end of the conversation (or spark a new one).

With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services. We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.

What Does This Mean?

The business of marketing execution is being impacted by the business of what I call Social Media Infrastructure. The big online advertising companies are moving fast into social media with new ad products.  We see Facebook pushing new social ads.

Just recently Buddy Media was sold to Salesforce.com. While new emerging leaders like Thismoment.com are building scalable marketing infrastructure platforms that provide a direct business model for “smart CMOs”. We saw this in the Hunger Games example which recently won the nomination for MTV awards.

Prediction: The middleman in advertising and marketing will soon disappear. Words like GRPs (gross rating points), email marketing, and pageviews will be a thing of the past.

Technical Prediction: Unstructured data will emerge as the disruption..see this post

New products that automate Big Data complexity on commodity hardware? What if they truly democratize access to data and analytics with solutions that are “good enough” and at a price point that brings in new customers . This is classic disruptive innovation where low end, good enough software and systems eat away at the functionality of existing high end scale-up architectures.

Follow me on Twitter:  @Furrier and @SiliconANGLE

Update:  I got a comment on LinkedIn from Thismoment.com CMO John Bara..

John Bara comment on my post.. “Another acquisition ins social software. Thismoment leads the way in YouTube, Facebook, brand site and mobile. Check AT&T’s Olympic journey here on YouTube”   http://lnkd.in/6ZmQFa

On Google + I commented that I think the play in social is to be multi-platform.  This is where Thismoment.com shines.  Similar to Millennial Media in the mobile ad space.  Being independent provides more comfort for advertisers and creates more innovation.  Again the mobile space is great case study.  Millennial Media continues to innovate while Admob was stunted when Google bought them.

About John Furrier

Founder and CEO of SiliconAngle.com.