2012 has been another active year for the buying and selling of companies in social media analysis. As suppliers have taken different approaches to social media data and the market, the transactions reflected different goals. Companies bought each other for technology, products, or market presence—even for their key employees. According to SMA's acquisitions scorecard, 24 companies in social media analysis changed hands this year, up from 20 last year. Here's a recap of the year's deals.
WPP kicked things off with its acquisition of the China specialist CIC, followed quickly by MediaMiser's technology-motivated pickup of InfoGlutton. Ending the month, SDL closed its acquisition of Alterian, marking the longest string of acquisitions to date (Andiamo Systems to Techrigy to Alterian to SDL).
Dassault Systèmes bought Netvibes for the value of consumer opinion in innovation, and thismoment took over Position2's Brand Monitor product. Connotate acquired Fetch Technologies in the first transaction to point out the fuzzy boundaries of the space this year.
April must be the big shopping season for companies. The Japanese market got a little easier to follow when Hottolink bought Gala Buzz from its parent company. Visible Technologies bought Cymfony from WPP, the first time an acquired startup in the space has been resold. KPMG quietly bought WiseWindow, incorporating its product and team into KPMG's analytics business. Progressive Media Group quietly bought Attentio, but there's been no indication of what they plan to do with it.
Enterprise software companies took multiple trips through the checkout lane. Oracle bought a social media business with Vitrue and Collective Intellect, and Salesforce.com added Buddy Media to the business it started with Radian6 last year.
Regional holding companies strengthened their company portfolios through acquisitions. In July, News Group International added Report International and KD Paine & Partners to its stable of media monitoring and analysis companies for the Middle East, Africa, and India. In August, Sentia Media made a similar expansion in its Asia-Pacific group with Australia's BuzzNumbers.
Also in August, Facebook played the game when it acqui-hired Threadsy.
HootSuite bought Seesmic and reiterated its commitment to power users and the business market. Lithium Technologies bought Social Dynamx to add customer service capabilities to its suite.
NM Incite bought SocialGuide to link TV ratings and tweets about television. Eptica bought Lingway for its text-analytics technology, and Brand Embassy bought Beepl for its text-analytics technology. A trend?
2013 awaits. What's on your shopping list?