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March 29, 2016

Speculations and thoughts after Buffer’s surprise acquisition

Matt Aunger
If you’re one of the most revered, transparent social media brands, how do you  "wow" people?
For Buffer, the answer was simple: Monitoring.
As you likely already know, up until now Buffer has only focused on scheduling and analytics. So any user looking to track mentions, hashtags and conversations, would need a dedicated app like Mention. And while many social tools have provided monitoring for some time, the Buffer community was left yearning.
In 2016, that's all set to change.
On the 17th December, Buffer founder Joel Gascoigne had a big announcement to make. And revealed the brand has acquired the startup Twitter monitoring tool, Respondly.
Respondly - which will rebrand to “Respond” - is a Twitter monitoring and customer service tool. In a nutshell, it's an easy way to track conversations, hashtags and mentions. Keeping everything in sync, to improve the productivity and support of your service teams.
In his post, Joel indicates monitoring social has been of great interest for some time. Ultimately the concept was shelved due to the usual culprits of cost, time and resources. For all intents and purposes, Respond looks like an ideal fit for the Buffer family.
Understandably, the news was well received by the community. Though with Buffer’s track record of listening and acting on community suggestions, this was only a matter of time - Pinterest anyone? ;-)
As the announcement has only just surfaced, it's all very fresh. Though the implications of this acquisition on the wider social monitoring industry is exciting to say the least.
Finding new, more productive ways to engage with, and build communities tops every social marketer's to-do list. And lack of monitoring has often been a barrier to entry for many professionals.
With this barrier removed, it is highly likely that a surge of new users will flood to the tool, post-beta. Might this force a surge of feature developments in an attempt to win back customers?
We can only speculate right now. Though my money's on the first to offer extensive live-streaming analytics, or acquire fullscope.tv!
What is clear is that Buffer are positioning themselves as a go-to for social media productivity apps. We saw it earlier in 2015 with the launch of their image creator Pablo, and this latest acquisition does a lot to confirm that position.
Will productivity be at the forefront of the social media landscape as we move into 2016? What impact do you think the Buffer acquisition will have on the social media industry, and will you be signing up for the Respond beta like I have? Let us know in the comments.
Matt Aunger
Video obsessed content and social media marketer, freelance writer, and guest blogger.
December 14, 2015
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