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Cloud software powerhouse Salesforce has completed its $689 million cash and stock acquisition of Buddy Media, the company announced today. It has also launched Salesforce Communities, a private social network for interactions between users, customers, and partners.

Salesforce agreed to purchase New York City-based Buddy Media in early June. It paid about $475 million in cash and 1.4 million newly issued shares of common stock for Buddy Media, according to an SEC filing. The move showed Salesforce’s commitment to social products.

With the social commitment comes yet another product — Communities. This new product builds on the lessons it has learned from its enterprise social network, Chatter. Instead of a collaboration environment like Chatter, Communities gives a company even more tools for communication, including public forums, a help desk, and private channels for sales partner talks.

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“With Salesforce Communities, enterprises will be able to break the boundaries of their companies, connecting them much closer to their customers and partners,” said Salesforce SVP Doug Bewsher in a statement.

While it sounds like it will be helpful to Salesforce customers, the Communities product is actually playing catching up to similar products offered by Yammer (which had a major update today) and Jive Software. Communities will begin a limited rollout this fall, with general availability in the second half of 2013.

Marc Benioff photo: Dell/Flickr

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