Top 10 Social Media Acquisitions of 2012

by Jason Keath on Dec 21, 2012

Social media is still a young and highly volatile industry.

New companies and vendors and tools pop up every year. And slightly older companies get bought up and merged into larger companies every year.

These acquisitions often reflect both the big trends of the day and hint at what is coming next.

Last year we broke down the top 2011 social media acquisitions. In 2011 Facebook was focused on some important acquihires and mobile talent. And most of the location apps had peaked and got bought up. Also, Adobe and Salesforce made big investments in building out their enterprise social media divisions.

Facebook leads the way again

This year, the biggest move was Facebook’s pick up of mobile social networking star Instagram. This may go down as one of the smartest moves ever by Zuckerberg as Instagram has continued to skyrocket since the acquisition, even now beginning to rival Twitter on mobile.

Oracle and Salesforce lead the growing social business trend

Oracle made a series of big moves that now puts them neck and neck with the large enterprise social competitors of Adobe and Salesforce. Microsoft and IBM are also in the mix there.

And of course Salesforce made a big splash by adding Buddy Media to their Radian6 teams. In two years they have purchased two of the largest social media companies in the world. Clearly they will have some overlap to deal with here, but the experience, software platforms, and client bases that Radian6 and Buddy Media bring to Salesforce is a huge dent in the enterprise social media market.

Other significant pick ups include the Slideshare and Rapportive pick ups by LinkedIn, smart moves, Microsoft bringing Yammer under its wing, and Google’s odd purchase of Wildfire. Google owning a software vendor that makes its money on Facebook tabs is a story that I hope is not done yet. Microsoft picked up a huge client list with Yammer. The question is will they be able to build anything else of value for those social customers.

Clearly this was the year of Facebook API windfalls. Buddy, Vitrue and Wildfire were the big three and all of them are now amongst the software giants.

  1. Instagram acquired by Facebook
  2. Bright Option acquired by Buddy Media (then acquired by SalesForce)
  3. Slideshare acquired by LinkedIn
  4. WildFire acquired by Google
  5. Yammer acquired by Microsoft
  6. Vitrue acquired by Oracle
  7. Eloqua acquired by Oracle
  8. Involver acquired by Oracle
  9. Collective Intellect acquired by Oracle
  10. Karma acquired by Facebook

There were plenty of other important social media acquisitions this year. The following is a list of top takeovers from 2012 that did not make the top 10 but impacted the industry. They are in chronological order.

If we missed anything, please add it in the comments to we can add it to the list. Include a link to a press release.

Last year’s list: Top social media acquisitions of 2011 

Post Author

CEO and founder of Social Fresh, the social media education company. Jason is a social media consultant, a social media speaker and industry analyst. He consults with corporations and agencies on social media strategy, building community, and influencer...

  • http://twitter.com/nickcicero Nick Cicero

    We knew Adobe had to do something!

  • http://socialfreshacademy.com/ Jason Keath

    Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce are leading the way for large enterprise social software solutions. The places you will ultimately be able to go to to get EVERYTHING you need. Microsoft looks like they will be pursuing it as well (Yammer). Who knows with Google (Wildfire, Analytics). IBM has not opened that door yet. SAP has some social services built in house and has been on the verge of buying Jive for a while, but still no big moves there.

    If I were to rank the social capabilities of them all, the top three right now would probably be:
    1. Salesforce
    2. Oracle (could overtake Salesforce very soon)
    3. Adobe

  • Barry Ford

    Single Platform was acquired by Constant Contact.

  • Joe

    iContact was acquired by Vocus

  • http://twitter.com/mickael_b Mickael Bentz

    IBM is too silent, isn’t it?

  • http://twitter.com/mickael_b Mickael Bentz

    Marketo bought Crowdfactory

  • http://socialfreshacademy.com/ Jason Keath

    Did not even know about this one, thanks Joe.

  • http://socialfreshacademy.com/ Jason Keath

    Will add to the list. Thanks!

  • http://socialfreshacademy.com/ Jason Keath

    They are definitely quiet. I know they are building a few things. Expect them to make a little more noise this year. Just depends on how much.

  • http://socialfreshacademy.com/ Jason Keath

    Interesting. Will look to add it to the list as well.

    Would be helpful if Single Platform was more detailed about what sites they connect to, could not find a complete list anywhere yet.

  • http://twitter.com/Gurbaxani Gaurav Gurbaxani

    SocialMediaCompany.com By The WebsGreatestHits

  • NBAY Classifieds

    Very interesting article you have put together here Jason. It’s really interesting to see all of these acquisition’s in one place. It makes it much clearer to see the trend of how the big boys play. Thanks for putting this together.
    Team http://www.NBAY.COM

  • Anna Pham

    Thanks Jason, I think the most major one is facebook buying instagram which has surpirsed people at that time but I think now no one wonder about that.