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Radian6Customer relationship management giant Salesforce announced today that it has acquired social media monitoring company Radian6 for $326 million.

Radian6 was founded on the premise that businesses need to monitor the social web in order to effectively join conversations. Its technology crawls conversations across social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other online communities, and provides insight and information in real-time. Products at the company include a platform to help businesses connect with individuals and a monitoring feature to help businesses track and evaluate their social media efforts. The service is currently used by more than half of the Fortune 100.

In Salesforce’s announcement today, the company said the purchase of Radian6 would bridge the conversations happening on public social networks and’s private corporate social network, Chatter.

This acquisition appears to be another effort from Salesforce to embrace social software, which it began doing with Chatter. Earlier this year, Chatter was updated with Facebook and Twitter-like features, including likes, @replies, trending topics and more.

Despite the efforts to integrate Chatter with more social features, Salesforce will continue to face competition from enterprise social network Yammer, which has already picked up more than 100,000 companies as customers since it launched, and Jive, which is reportedly aiming to IPO in 2011.

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