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Meltwater Buys Social Media Monitor JitterJam

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Meltwater Group is purchasing its second social media monitoring startup in just over a year, as it continues to expand beyond its roots monitoring traditional media online. The company is paying $6 million to buy Boston-based JitterJam. In February 2010, Meltwater spent $4 million to purchase BuzzGain.

CEO Jorn Lyseggen tells us Meltwater has been “very pleased” with the traction of its social media monitoring product since the BuzzGain buy. Social media montoring still only accounts for a “small part” of the company’s overall sales — which totaled $106 million in 2010, up from $77 million in 2009 — but Lyseggen says it’s growing much faster than Meltwater’s primary business and the company hopes to generate $100 million in sales from social media-related products within the next three years.

JitterJam counts 50 companies, including Kraft Foods among its clients, but Lyseggen says Meltwater was primarily interested in the startup because of its technology, which automatically builds “social profiles” of the people who are commenting about a company’s products on social media sites and also includes a way to gauge how influential those people are. The company’s platform can also be used to send targeted messages to groups of consumers.

JitterJam, Lyseggen says, will eventually be integrated into Meltwater’s existing social media monitoring product, which is called Meltwater Buzz. Lyseggen says the company is also on the look-out for additional social media-related purchases. “We believe innovation in this space is just incredible,” he says. “Instead of out-innovating the rest of the world, we will embrace that innovation (through) more acquisitions.”