HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Take two steps back from journalism: What are the editorial products we’re not building?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Sept. 9, 2013, 1:30 p.m.

Storify sold to Livefyre in a merging of social curation tools

The journalist-cofounded (and journalist-friendly) curation tool will live on; the hope is the combined company can extend its reach with enterprise customers.

storifyA tech startup with roots deeply entrenched in the journalism world is being acquired. Storify, the company whose social curation platform that has helped countless journalists round-up tweets into stories of their own, is being acquired by Livefyre, best known for making the software that powers comment sections on some websites. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal brings Storify under the wing of a similarly oriented company: both focus on tools for online publishers and amplifying social engagement by harnessing conversations from around the web. The two companies already have a history; Storify added Livefyre comments to its service in January 2012. In February of this year, Livefyre raised $15 million in new investment, which may be where the resources for this acquisition are coming from.

But Storify as we know it won’t be going anywhere. Storify co-founders Xavier Damman and Burt Herman and the rest of their team will join Livefyre, but Storify itself will remain an independent (and free) tool available on the web, Herman told me Monday. “It made sense from the start that this was a great potential fit,” Herman said. But Storify’s paid products will now also be bundled with services like Livefyre’s commenting platform, liveblogging tools, and social advertising.

Since its launch in 2010, Storify has been a unique company on the journalism landscape. While there have been plenty of new technologies developed to help harness the power of Twitter and Facebook for use in news, Storify represented a set of tools for journalists developed by a journalist — Herman is a former AP correspondent. The company’s growth in recent years has been fueled by the continued growth of Twitter, particularly as a breaking news engine. Many newsrooms and individual journalists have come to rely on Storify as a way to corral tweets, raw video footage, and discussion. In 2011, the company raised $2 million in funding from Khosla Ventures.

burthermanHerman told me he and Damman were not looking to be acquired but said the move will help both companies continue to expand. The acquisition by Livefyre will help expand Storify’s usage, Herman said. Earlier this year, the company announced it was creating Storify VIP, a paid version of the service designed for larger companies that need additional features and customization beyond the free edition. That level of enterprise business is something Livefyre is familiar with; the company counts CBS, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and Condé Nast among their clients.

In the release announcing the deal, Livefyre founder Jordan Kretchmer said the acquisition will unite interfaces for customers who already use both companies’ products. “Now our enterprise users will be able to manage Storify content from the same centralized Livefyre dashboard where they’re already managing all of their social and user-generated content,” Kretchmer said in the statement.

Herman said one of their main goals is expanding their users beyond the freemium model. Livefyre already has a team in place to help with that. “We really did recognize, and the market is showing us, who our users are,” he said. “Our users are journalists, brand managers, and agencies. That’s who uses Storify. Those are the people who get it.”

Herman said they’ll now also have the resources to find ways to refine Storify and make it a more seamless experience. He said they want to reduce the steps it takes to collect media and embed a Storify on your site. “The easier and more frictionless you can make this stuff, the more people will realize that social media is not a fad,” he said.

For Herman, the Livefyre deal is the next step in his career as a journalist and entrepreneur. A former Knight Fellow at Stanford, Herman said the process of taking a startup from an idea to reality has been revealing about the world of journalism and the world of technology. “It’s definitely been a roller coaster, with lots of ups and downs along the way. I’d do it all again,” Herman said. “We need to take more chances and try new things in journalism.”

POSTED     Sept. 9, 2013, 1:30 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Take two steps back from journalism: What are the editorial products we’re not building?
“Imagine all the wildly different services you could deliver with a building full of writers and developers.”
Newsonomics: The Financial Times triples its profits and swaps champagne flutes for martini glasses
The FT is a leader in crossing over from print — digital subscribers now make up 70 percent of its paying audience, a number that keeps growing.
A farewell to #content: Optimism, worries, and a belief in great work
A few thoughts on the state of media (and meta-media) from our departing staff writer.
What to read next
750
tweets
Snapchat stories: Here’s how 6 news orgs are thinking about the chat app
From live events to behind-the-scenes tours, The Huffington Post, Fusion, Mashable, NPR, Philly.com, and The Verge tell us how they’re approaching Snapchat.
611New rules governing drone journalism are on the way — and there’s reason to be optimistic
They’re more permissive than some had expected: “Under this regulatory framework, every newsroom will have drones and people certified to fly them. They’ll just be part of the equipment.”
483Internet birthed the radio star: Local newspapers are hoping online radio can be a growth area
Despite slow audience and revenue growth, a handful of newspapers are optimistic about the future of Internet radio.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Fuego is our heat-seeking Twitter bot, tracking the links the future-of-journalism crowd is talking about most on Twitter.
Here are a few of the top links Fuego’s currently watching.   Get the full Fuego ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Demand Media
Google
Voice of San Diego
ReadWrite
Minneapolis Star Tribune
NBCNews.com
Poynter Institute
Fox News
Reddit
The Dish
St. Louis Globe-Democrat