Following it’s acquisition of Storify just the other week, Livefyre a commenting platform used by TechCrunch and other websites, has announced that it’s opened an office in London to serve the UK/European markets. It’s already bagged some customers, including News UK, Times Online, The Sun, Fabulous magazine, The Scottish Sun, Decca Records and Time Out Global. They are joined by France’s Liberation and Germany’s Motain. Robb Miller, managing director of Global Sales will head up the European sales operation.
Livefyre raised a $15 million round in February, bringing its total funding to more than $20 million. Livefyre’s StreamHub platform allows publications to automatically add social media content to their site.
Storify has been used by journalists and brands throughout Europe including the BBC, the British Prime Minister’s office and the Royal Family, Germany’s Bild Zeitung and Die Zeit – even FC Barcelona.
Other commenting platforms, including Disqus and IntenseDebate, have so far avoided any ‘boots-on-the-ground’ expansion to Europe, although European publishers had tended to be laggards in integrating social platforms. That said, Echo has App Store partners in Europe who represent them, in the shape of Discussit. And Gigya also has UK offices.
Anecdotally, Livefyre has recently come under pressure from publishers disappointed in its readers having to frequently re-authenticate to comment, while mere Facebook commenting often appears to enable easier engagement.
Whatever the case, Livefyre has a sales operation. Facebook does not.