Deals

Facebook buys Threadsy, signals interest in influence graph

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Facebook has agreed to acquire Threadsy, makers of a social insights tool called Swaylo.

A Facebook representative confirmed the Threadsy acquisition to VentureBeat but declined to share terms of the deal.

“We built Swaylo because we believe Facebook and other social media services are the digital representation of our lives,” Threadsy founder and CEO Rob Goldman said. “There is no better opportunity to take Swaylo’s vision to the next level than at Facebook.”

Founded in 2008, Threadsy started its life as a social client that combined email, Facebook, Twitter, and IM into a single stream. After failing to gain significant adoption, that product was shut down in October 2011. The team then shifted its focus to Swaylo.

Swaylo, which overlaps in purpose with influence-tracking startup Klout, scores a Facebook member’s influence, called “sway”, and provides a rundown on each user’s audience, reach, and trendiness. Swaylo also makes a tool to help businesses connect with their influencers.

We suspect the purchase may be motivated by a desire on Facebook’s part to better understand the social capital of its more than 955 million active members. Threadsy, by way of Swaylo, is likely in possession of some fascinating data that Facebook could surely use to help its advertisers more narrowly target their messages.

Swaylo’s consumer-facing product will cease to exist on the Swaylo site once the deal closes. The professional service meanwhile will be operated independently by Threadsy’s current investors, the company said in a blog post.

Threadsy raised upwards of $6 million over the span of its four year history.

Psychology image via Shutterstock