Google has announced that its social section, Wildfire, won’t be building new features or signing up new customers, effectively winding down the service. So what will this mean for social media marketers?
In 2012, Google bought Wildfire for a reported $250m with the aim to create “new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services.”
Wildfire, which allows users to manage their pages, apps, tweets, videos, sponsorships and social ads in one place, has had clients such as Virgin, Cirque du Soleil and Spotify. However, the platform is now rolling its technology into the DoubleClick ad platform.
This means confusion for customers, with Google rumoured to be helping companies migrate to new platforms.
“Right now there will be a lot of uncertainty for Wildfire customers, enterprise level customers of social media solutions require a hands on approach from their vendors in order to navigate the complex ever changing and complex landscape in social media,” explained Ian Robin, director of strategic accounts at HootSuite.
“With Wildfire limiting their development and no longer able to sign up new customers their ability to satisfy clients in this fast paced and analytics driven industry are limited.”
Customers can continue to use the existing Wildfire tools, but they are expected to move to other social management services: such as HootSuite, SocialBro or SproutSocial.
According to AdWeek, one such service, Sprinklr, has seen more than said more than 20 Wildfire customers reaching out in need of new social media management.
HootSuite has also seen this as an opportunity to increase its market: “With our global footprint and over eight million customers we can help Wildfire customers transition easily,” Robin boasts, promoting how it works with over 700 of the Fortune 1000 and over 1,200 enterprise customers of all sizes.
HootSuite told The Drum it has seen 20 times the normal amount of web inquiries on a global scale, with an overall increase of 2000 per cent on Friday, when the Wildfire announcement was made.
The Wildfire technology will be integrated into DoubleClick to “enable marketers to use social insights to improve their marketing campaigns.”