Livefyre Acquires Storify, Says The Social Curation Service Will Still Operate As Standalone Product

Livefyre, a commenting platform used by TechCrunch and other websites, is announcing that it has acquired social curation startup Storify.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Livefyre says the five-person Storify team will be joining the company, bringing its headcount to 91. Livefyre founder and CEO Jordan Kretchmer also told me via email that Storify, which allows users to bring social media comments together into a single conversation, will continue to operate as a standalone service.

“Not only will we be keeping the great Storify product and brand completely intact, we will be investing in both moving forward,” Kretchmer said. “That means that there will always be a free version of Storify as we work to continue to grow the Storify community, just as there has always been a free version of Livefyre.”

At the same time, Storify co-founder Burt Herman said that the media companies using Storify have already been asking about ways the two services can be used together. Both he and Kretchmer pointed to Livefyre’s StreamHub product (which allows publications to automatically add social media content to their site) as a natural point of integration. By bringing in Storify’s more hands-on approach to curation, Kretchmer said StreamHub will become “the only real-time platform that enables both editorially created and automated curation of social content.”

Storify launched as a tool for journalists and probably remains best-known in that context, but the company has been adding more tools for brands and agencies (who probably have more money to spend than news organizations). Herman said the acquisition will accelerate that shift and help Storify “bring it all together,” allowing brands using Storify to run native ads with the company’s publishers. (Livefyre recently launched its own ad products.)

Livefyre raised a $15 million round in February, bringing its total funding to more than $20 million. Storify, meanwhile, raised around $2 million from Khosla Ventures, Promus Ventures, and others. Following the acquisition, Herman (a former journalist himself) said he will continue working with publishers and journalists, while co-founder and CEO Xavier Damman will continue to run Storify product development.

Livefyre helps companies engage consumers through a combination of real-time conversation, social curation and social advertising. With Livefyre, brands can integrate real-time, social content into their websites, mobile apps, advertisements and television broadcasts to increase viewer engagement, boost website traffic and drive revenue. As the fifth largest network online, Livefyre is powering real-time social experiences for over 400 leading brands including American Idol, AOL, Bravo, CBS, Conde Nast, Dow Jones/WSJ, FOX Sports, Mashable, NASCAR, Showtime, Sony Playstation, Sports Illustrated…

Turn what people post on social media into compelling stories. With Storify, you collect the best photos, video, quotes from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more to publish them as simple, beautiful stories that can be embedded anywhere. It’s the best way to capture an event whether it’s a news event, a conference, a product launch, a wedding, … Social media streams flow, but stories last.

Burt Herman is the Co – Founder (Business development, partnerships and publisher relations) of Storify. Burt is the Founder of Hacks / Hackers, a worldwide organization bringing together journalists and technologists. He previously reported from around the world for The Associated Press over a 12-year career, heading AP’s office in Korea and founding a bureau covering the five countries of former Soviet Central Asia. Among other assignments worldwide, he was an embedded reporter with the U.S. Marines in the Iraq…

 

Xavier Dammanis the Co – Founder & CEO of Storify. Xavier moved from Belgium in the summer of 2009 with the vision that there are voices on social media that deserve to be published on main stream media. This vision is the foundation of Storify. He founded Tribal in 1999, a site that gathered student content from around Belgium that was published in a 30,000-circulation magazine distributed nationwide to high schools. He built content partnerships with leading brands such as Microsoft…

Jordan Kretchmer is the Founder and CEO of Livefyre. Livefyre brings the social web right to any publisher or brand site to drive real-time conversations and community engagement. The company’s suite of real-time products include LiveComments, LiveBlogs, and social content curation, and Livefyre’s customers include FOX News, CBS, Dow Jones, AOL, TIME Magazine, and thousands of others. Kretchmer founded the San Francisco based startup in December 2009, and has overseen its growth to the 7th largest site network…

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