Livefyre, a commenting platform used by TechCrunch and other websites, is announcing that it has acquired social curation startup Storify.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Livefyre says the five-person Storify team will be joining the company, bringing its headcount to 91. Livefyre founder and CEO Jordan Kretchmer also told me via email that Storify, which allows users to bring social media comments together into a single conversation, will continue to operate as a standalone service.
“Not only will we be keeping the great Storify product and brand completely intact, we will be investing in both moving forward,” Kretchmer said. “That means that there will always be a free version of Storify as we work to continue to grow the Storify community, just as there has always been a free version of Livefyre.”
At the same time, Storify co-founder Burt Herman said that the media companies using Storify have already been asking about ways the two services can be used together. Both he and Kretchmer pointed to Livefyre’s StreamHub product (which allows publications to automatically add social media content to their site) as a natural point of integration. By bringing in Storify’s more hands-on approach to curation, Kretchmer said StreamHub will become “the only real-time platform that enables both editorially created and automated curation of social content.”
Storify launched as a tool for journalists and probably remains best-known in that context, but the company has been adding more tools for brands and agencies (who probably have more money to spend than news organizations). Herman said the acquisition will accelerate that shift and help Storify “bring it all together,” allowing brands using Storify to run native ads with the company’s publishers. (Livefyre recently launched its own ad products.)
Livefyre raised a $15 million round in February, bringing its total funding to more than $20 million. Storify, meanwhile, raised around $2 million from Khosla Ventures, Promus Ventures, and others.
Following the acquisition, Herman (a former journalist himself) said he will continue working with publishers and journalists, while co-founder and CEO Xavier Damman will continue to run Storify product development.