True Ventures backed Socialcast is launching adopting the freemium model for its FriendFeed-like collaboration and social network SaaS for businesses. A finalist for the 2009 Crunchies Award for “Best Bootstrapped Startup,” Socialcast is a communication tool businesses can use to incorporate social networking with real-time messaging to share knowledge across enterprises.
Socialcast’s software combines social bookmarking features, Twitter-like microblogging and FriendFeed-like streaming into one platform. And the software integrates with other social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Del.icio.us. Socialcast can also import activity from your iPhone, Gmail account and YouTube. The best part is that all of this activity is private, making Socialcast a competitive program for real-time, internal communication within businesses.
The new version of Socialcast will become even more like FriendFeed, including real-time activity streams complete with real-time track functionality that allows user’s to stay updated on subjects of interest, groups, projects, keywords, etc. Socialcast will also be rolling out an Adobe AIR desktop app, as well as the in-browser software. While the app is useful, we’ve complained in the past about the strange quirks and bugs in Adobe AIR.
The software, which used to be $1 per user per month, will now be completely free for an unlimited amount of users but businesses can choose to add paid features to Socialcast. This includes the ability to see analytics and mine data from a group’s network, providing a tag cloud and stats on which employees communicate most and least often.
Another premium feature is a consultancy service provided by Socialcast on how to help employees adopt and deploy the technology (which doesn’t seem that difficult so this may not be worth paying for). For a extra fee, users can also choose to put Socialcast behind a firewall for extra protection.
Socialcast is similar in some ways to Yammer, a winner at last year’s TechCrunch 50, is a similar Twitter-like microblogging and communication platform for businesses that has gained popularity. But Socialcast seems to have a lot more bells and whistles than Yammer in its interface. Cubetree also offers a social network and microblogging platform for the enterprise. And of course there’s the mysterious and hyped Google Wave.