Crimson Hexagon Edges Forward in Social Media Analysis with Big Customers Like Bing

10/6/10Follow @gthuang

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sentiment analysis, and—with its latest product iteration announced yesterday—it allows corporate customers to “see the analysis in a variety of ways” in a “significant upgrade” to the user interface. Crimson Hexagon also has massively increased the amount of social media data it is processing—up from a total of about 4 billion posts as of six months ago to adding 2.5 billion new posts every month (for a total of about 20 billion and counting).

The work is starting to pay off for the company, which counts among its customers Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal, plus a slew of large marketing agencies and PR firms. Insights from Crimson Hexagon’s software “have become a key part in developing and executing our marketing strategies,” said Lise Brende, director of marketing analytics for Microsoft Bing and MSN, in a statement. “The analysis allows us to see and understand the nuances of online conversation from our widely varying customer segments, and we’ve been able to learn what’s working and what isn’t in real time.”

Microsoft is certainly tracking the social media monitoring sector closely, and has been eyeing potential acquisitions, from what I’ve heard. A company like Crimson Hexagon still has a ways to go in proving itself and becoming profitable, especially as the price of less sophisticated monitoring tools keeps going down.

The Harvard startup is banking on its ability to help companies deal with different styles of writing across blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and so forth—including being able to handle things like sarcasm, abbreviations, and Web slang. Its software also works for different languages besides English.

“Customers who use those bulk tools very quickly run out of steam. We try to be creative, and have flexibility in our pricing model,” Centurino says. “We know the [return on investment] is out there.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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