#branded #content

Livefyre’s Engagement Cloud helps companies manage user-generated content

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Livefyre is perhaps best known for powering the comments sections beneath an untold number of articles from across countless websites. But the company is about more than comments — it’s about helping companies use the content generated by basically everyone who uses the Internet to suit their own goals. Today it’s announcing a new platform so it can do that better than in the past.

“Brands now have to produce more content than they ever have in history,” says Livefyre chief executive Jordan Kretchmer. “If they want to engage their audience, if they want to build community around their sites and mobile apps and stores, they have to create content to do that.” But hiring a bunch of people to make that content can be expensive; user-generated content is a lot cheaper.

That’s where Livefyre comes in. Kretchmer breaks Livefyre down into four areas: discovering content from the social Web; organizing that content into manageable pieces; publishing that content to a website or social network; and then keeping an eye on how well that content performs after its publication. These used to be separate tools, but now they’re all lumped in with each other.

“This has been the big product effort for the last nine months,” Kretchmer says. “As we grew as a company and started delivering on more value and pieces of functionality to more customers, we of course had to bring more pieces into our platform.” This became unwieldy, so the company has built a dashboard to tie everything together in a service anyone should be able to use.

That dashboard presents data collected from many different sources. It then sorts through all that content, presents it to a worker given the soul-crushing job of reposting #brand related stuff to their company’s online properties, and allows them to publish it on their Facebook page or website or wherever. Why pay for some original content when so many people are giving it away for free?

There is, of course, the simple matter of getting the rights to that content. Livefyre has rights management baked in; all a brand has to do to use someone’s tweet, photo, or miscellaneous ramblings is ask for permission. If the person who made that piece of content agrees, the brand is able to do whatever they want with it, and it’s permanently stored on Livefyre’s cloud.

Kretchmer says this was the number-one most requested feature from Livefyre’s customers. He assures me that content for which brands haven’t secured the rights will be deleted from the company’s cloud if a user deletes it from whatever service to which they shared it to begin with; if the rights to that content are handed over, however, they’ll remain available in perpetuity.

All of which means that every Facebook post, Instagram photo, and Tweet can be used to promote whatever a company wants to get in front of its customers. The good news: They’ll have to ask permission first, provided those companies are using Livefyre. It ain’t much of a silver lining, but at least it’s something.