We’re giving CRM social networking tools for free

September 23rd, 2010 | by Chan Chi-Loong

Barely has’s social networking tool Chatter been launched — exactly three months since their launch date of Chatter on June 22nd — and they are pushing out Chatter version 2.0 out already.

According to an announcement by last night, the upgrade consists of a “re-architecture” of all’s apps to use the social networking capabilities of Chatter.

What you get in the “new” Chatter are more analytics and dashboards, easier ways for users to find conversations, and a desktop-based software version (if you hate using browsers to connect to the web, which is strange for a cloud solution!). Extensions to mobile platforms like Apple’s iOS, Android and Blackberry will be available late this year or early next year.

What’s more interesting, of course, is how Chatter is priced: it’s free for existing users of CRM or users, or US$15 per user per month otherwise.’s CEO Marc Benioff touted in the press release that more than 20,000 customers have deployed Chatter (now version 2.0), which is of course a no-brainer: I’m guessing it’s mostly existing customers, and therefore free.

I’m not really surprised that Chatter is free, because it makes sense. If you put a price to it, you’ll be compared to all the free social networking tools out there with a far bigger universe of users (e.g. Facebook or Twitter). Social networking tools is also a great way to defend your turf: Get customers to stick to or recommend others to try the platform. There’s a growing bunch of cloud-based CRM competitors like Zoho and SugarCRM that has followed in the footsteps that has trailblazed. Salesforce has to keep an eye out on these even as they move on to bigger fish like Microsoft and IBM.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.