Buffer, the little service for scheduling your social media updates, has some big news today: it’s acquiring competitor ShareFeed, and is bringing its CEO Hiten Shah on board as a mentor and advisor. ShareFeed was launched in 2009 as a side project from Shah’s company KISSmetrics, which is backed by True Ventures, SoftTech VC, Polaris Ventures, and other angels. Of ShareFeed’s team of three, only Shah will be working with Buffer going forward, and will advise the company on how integrate some of the technology the ShareFeed had previously developed.
While terms of the deal were not being disclosed, ShareFeed’s main contribution to Buffer, outside of Shah’s mentorship, appears to be the technology itself and the data the company had previously collected on social sharing.
“The most crucial parts that Buffer will use is the user flow and engagement data that Hiten and his team have collected through the ShareFeed userbase,” explains Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich. “This includes retention and activation metrics and how Hiten managed to build a product with so little drop-off. Also, the technology around individual scheduling of updates, is something that we will work with and potentially integrate into Buffer, it’s a feature we currently don’t have,” he adds.
Given that the deal has just closed Buffer doesn’t yet have an ETA on when the results of that integration will be complete. However, one feature that Buffer has already implemented, which came directly from Hiten’s ideas for ShareFeed, is to spread the smarter sharing button across the web, including on Twitter.com, Facebook.com, and Google Reader. The company rolled out its improved Buffer browser extension last week, which lets users “buffer” (can we verb it now?) directly from the websites themselves – the ones that host the content Buffer users want to share.
The extension places a “Buffer” button next to the “Post” button on the Facebook status update box, for example. It also lets you buffer re-tweets, new tweets, and blog posts you’re sharing using the “Tweet” button, among other things.
Currently, Buffer has 200,000 users (up from 180,000 just last month), 25% of whom are active. Every day, those users post 100,000 updates through Buffer to services like Twitter, Facebok, and LinkedIn. Widrich says Buffer is growing at over 20% every month, and is confident that the learnings from the ShareFeed data can top up Buffer’s growth rate “significantly.”