Feeds

Oracle acquisition gets Larry more Involver(ed) with Facebook

Bags tools to help marketeers become your BFFs

Boost IT visibility and business value

Oracle is about to gain millions of fans – by buying software that powers Facebook fan pages. On Tuesday the database giant announced it would acquire Involver, a social-media software company, for an undisclosed sum.

Involver offers a suite of tools that allow companies to develop marketing campaigns enriched social experiences across Facebook and other social sites.

Its core technology is Social Markup Language (SML), a server-side templating language that allows developers to build complex UIs for social networks without writing a lot of custom code. If that's too complicated for them, there's a Visual SML tool that lets them do it with drag-and-drop ease.

Oracle says that Involver's tools make it possible to build Facebook fan pages "in minutes", and that the suite already powers more than a million fan pages.

Another tool aggregates conversations from multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts into a single dashboard, making it easier for campaign managers to respond to what's being said about their brands on social networks.

Involver's current customers include a cross-section of ad agencies, media companies, and consumer brands such as Best Buy, MTV Networks, Razorfish, and USA Today.

The merger is still underway, but is expected to close by September. This latest purchase isn't Oracle's first foray into social media, however. In May it acquired Vitrue, a social marketer, followed in June by Collective Intent, a social media–monitoring company.

Along with Involver, Oracle plans to integrate these companies into a unified Oracle Social Platform for sales, marketing, and customer service via social networks.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's own track record with Facebook and other social networking sites has been somewhat spotty.

At AllThingsD's D10 conference in May, Ellison told the crowd, "For about three months, I was kind of obsessed with Facebook. I was on there all the time." Three months were apparently long enough.

In June, he signed up for a Twitter account, which he promptly used to promote an Oracle product announcement. Despite gaining 28,000 followers, the account has remained silent ever since.

"I try to use these social networks and I try to use all of these technologies just so I'm aware of what's going on," Ellison said at D10. "When you use these things, you get a certain degree of insight of what is possible today that wasn't possible before a Facebook."

What he took away from his research, it seems, was that while social networks weren't really his cup of tea, they do make it possible to market products and services like never before – and Larry was never one to turn down a dollar. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.