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This evening during the Super Bowl, enterprise software provider Salesforce launched their first ads for Chatter, their Twitter-like instant messaging and private group chat function. The commercials featured an animated Black Eye Peas (hot off their pretty crappy halftime show) singer Will.i.am showing off how well he can communicate with his band mates using Chatter. Much like Leena Rao, I doubt the Black Eye Peas are customers of Chatter but maybe they are!
I was actually excited to see the Chatter commercials – but they weren’t what I was expecting. Show me a work team that is able to get more work done faster so they can have their weekends off to spend with their kids – that would have been emotion (like the Chrysler ad). Show me a manager who uses Chatter and has more free time to coach his or her team.
You can see images from some of the ads below – here’s the text from the Yammer Chatter ads:
- No More Gimmicks – Choose real collaboration and build something special with your team.
- Better Than Chatter – Strengthen your collaboration with Yammer.
- Yammer Tops Chatter – See why Yammer is best for social networking w/ coworkers.
- Your Work Isn’t Trivial – Chatter: to talk rapidly or incessantly about trivial matter.
Some of the big tech news this past week included two announcements. First, Salesforce announced that they will be offering a “stream” product in 2010. Second, the Twitter COO finally publicly noted that advertising and paid accounts will be coming to Twitter soon.
I’ve had several discussions and nearly every time the names of two startups are brought up as potentially in trouble with last week’s announcements. CoTweet describes their service as, “team workflow for Twitter” and Yammer is basically an internal copy of Twitter. CoTweet could be in trouble because of Twitter and Yammer could be in trouble because of Salesforce. Let’s take a look at why…
We first covered CoTweet earlier this year when they presented at the NY Tech Meetup. After the demo, I mentioned to the founders that I was concerned that Twitter could copy their features and leave them high and dry. CoTweet is going to have to work even harder to stay ahead of Twitter in terms of service offerings and continue to add value since we know that Twitter will soon be offering accounts that will seem very similar. Earlier this month CoTweet announced paid plans starting at $1,500 a month. CoTweet is still in private beta and my guess is that they will slowly morph into a Twitter consultancy. I’m not sold on that model either as Twitter might be headed into the land of fad. My first suggestion would be a name change so that they can easily branch out to serve other services including Facebook, MySpace, etc.
Yammer is a different story in terms of competition. When Salesforce announced their plans to launch a corporate stream product next year named Chatter, many noted that Yammer was instantly in trouble. I’d suggest if anything Yammer will be in an even better position than before because so many reviews and commentary about Chatter will include links and notes about Yammer. Chatter will apparently be included free for some Salesforce users and $50/user for other users. Yammer comes in much lower at $3-5/user/month.
A new service launched this week from NYC-based Harvest named Co-op. Harvest is a time-tracking application that we previously reviewed. For small teams, Co-op combines a quick update tool like Twitter with inline time tracking and project management. Rather than directly clone Twitter, Co-op has added features that actually make it beneficial for the office environment. With more teams working virtually, this type of quick status and "what I’m currently working on" tool works well.
There’s also a simple daily status tool so you can share what’s on your plate for the day with the rest of the team. This is a great way for project managers to keep informed of what everyone is working on without having to ask.
What I’d like to see are export options for the content so the company can keep an archive. It would also be good to have an "emergency" button which would immediately alert the team through their desired channels (IM, Mobile, etc.).
I like their business model as well. Offer the Co-op service for free but to add the time tracking, you need a Harvest account.