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Salesforce Launches Free Chatter.com Service, Plans Super Bowl Ads

By Paul Shread     Feedback

Salesforce aims to take over the world with its new free enterprise social networking service, with help from will.i.am.

Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) launched its free Chatter.com enterprise social networking service today, and the company plans to promote the new service in Super Bowl ads on Sunday.

Salesforce's Chatter service is offered free to its 87,000 CRM customers, and more than 60,000 Salesforce CRM users have adopted the Facebook-like collaboration service.

Now the online CRM leader is offering the new free Chatter.com service for any company to use, even those that are not Salesforce customers.

Salesforce's goal with Chatter.com is to reach as many companies as it can that aren't already Salesforce customers. In the privacy statement for the new services, Salesforce said it "may use information you provide to contact you to further discuss your interest in Chatter.com and to send you information regarding the Company and its partners, such as information about promotions or events."

The company will also continue to offer Chatter Plus, with added customization features, for its CRM and Force.com licensed users. Salesforce also offers Chatter Free for non-licensed employees at companies using Salesforce, and Chatter Plus is available for $15 per user per month for non-licensed users. For more on Chatter Free and Chatter Plus, see this comparison.

Salesforce said a recent customer satisfaction survey of Chatter users found that the service has resulted in 28 percent fewer meetings and 32 percent less email. Nearly 50 percent of the users surveyed said they could find information faster.

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Salesforce will promote Chatter.com in Super Bowl ads in Sunday's big game, the first TV ads for the company. The ads were produced by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, the group that will be performing in the Super Bowl halftime show. The Salesforce ads will tie in with the halftime show.

Salesforce used Chatter.com to produce the ads. will.i.am even contributed a statement to a Salesforce press release announcing the new service: "During the production of the two commercial spots, we were collaborating on documents, scripts, artwork, downloading, uploading — all securely in the cloud using Chatter. Any task can be solved when you have a team working cohesively."

Enterprise social networking competitor Yammer issued a statement claiming that Chatter.com isn't bring anything new to the market. "Chatter.com gives the first person to sign up on the network the power to moderate it, including deleting both posts and users," said the Yammer statement. "With Yammer, this function is fully decentralized — all users can police the network, which is also valuable in the event that the moderator suddenly leaves the company."

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This article was originally published on February 1, 2011
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