In February, we talked about social media monitoring newcomer Viralheat and how they were lowering the barrier to entry for social media monitoring by offering quality results at lower-than-typical prices. Now the rising start-up is doing even more to shake up the monitoring landscape by offering a top layer of monitoring results through its Charts feature to anyone … for free.
The offering is an expansion of their Social Trends feature, available since the product’s launch, which allows paid users to make part of their keyword searches public for all to see. If a client has set up a monitoring profile for the iPad, for instance, and make that search public, anyone can go to Social Trends and see the results. (Seventy percent of Viralheat’s users made their results public.) Social Trends was also free for anyone to use, so long as a paid subscriber (or Viralheat folks) had set up a search for the term you were trying to find. If not, you could pay for an account and set it up yourself.
The new Charts feature allows anyone to build a comparison search. Now you can search, compare and contrast multiple brands (e.g. – iPad vs. Kindle vs. Smart Pad or others) and not only see the results, but grab the embed code and offer up a real time chart on your blog or website. (Awesome idea for a transparent company wanting to show people online chatter and sentiment for their brand vs. their competitors.) The company’s open API for paid users also allows to tap into the usefulness and build out dashboards for the data. (Social Trends has a free API which allows you to pull out the publicly available data and use as you like.)
CEO Raj Kadam told me the information they’re making available to everyone for free has previously only been available to big brands with big market research dollars. I would add that some of it has also been available to bloggers and journalists in product demos, but typically only the iPhone or iPad data. (Someone please do a different default demo search. Heh.)
Kadam said Viralheat gets a lot of requests from journalists who are interested in the real-time, online buzz about a certain person or topic. Now the reporters can do the search themselves and embed the results right on the story page on their website. And if you’re about to say, “Yeah, right. Like journalists would even know how!” Hold your fire. ESPN is using Viralheat’s open API to create real-time buzz tracking dashboards of NFL teams this fall.
Oh, and sentiment scoring on all those results? Included. Free. (Kick ass.)
Viralheat also told me they’re making their library of infographics open and downloadable for anyone to use. They’ve got a pretty interesting collection worth checking out, for certain.
As for the paid version of the software, you can still get the Cadillac version for just $90 per month. Plans start at $10. At those prices, I don’t have a lot of problem with Viralheat execs calling themselves a “disruptive” social media monitoring company. They kinda are.