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Clearspring Rebrands as AddThis, Launches New Social Plugins

Written on
May 10, 2012 
Author
Brian LaRue  |

ADOTAS – It used to be called Clearspring, and now it’s called AddThis, following a rebranding around what company founder and executive chairman Hooman Radfar explained was as a desire to “consolidate around the brand” for which it’s best known. The name change comes at the same time as the social sharing platform provider launched a new set of social plugins (including personalized greetings when users visit a website, a tool to detect trending topics and push out a brand’s content around those topics across multiple channels, and “follow” tools for users to receive cross-channel brand messages), audience products and analytics.

The announcement from AddThis (Clearspring no more) comes around a time when, as Radfar put it, “our core platform has become incredibly large. Our tools are used 3 billion times per day” (he also said the company’s revenue tripled last year). AddThis is used by 14 million websites now, reaches 1.3 billion users each month and processes 70 terabytes of data each week, “which is about a digital Library of Congress,” Radfar said. “When you look at our reach, it’s almost double Yahoo.” That scale matters, he explained, because it allows brands to more deeply understand data related to users’ social, interest and intent, taking that data in order to “map it into a graph” and “make it actionable,” said Radfar. “We provide scale — the breadth — and depth of users.”

While most people probably associate AddThis most immediately with social media — after all, its eponymous product is a tool that allows users to share content across various social media or email or any of more than 300 other channels the publisher chooses to incorporate — Radfar said the company’s intent data in particular sets it apart from others operating in a similar space, where others are “mining, building, but not monetizing. People talk about big data — we have big data.” AddThis partners with publishers in “every vertical you can imagine,” he said, and with 500 brands, “from Sony all the way over to Hilton,” maintaining data in its own data centers. “It’s a fairly fantastic feat,” said Radfar. A statement from the company claims AddThis Social+ audiences plug into the largest social graph on the internet.

That said, whatever the company can do behind the scenes for brands and publishers, the most obvious thing about AddThis to everyday users is the “share” tool, and, said Radfar, “the follow plugin is a cousin of that.” It allows users to follow posts from whoever or whatever created the post on multiple social media outlets, and going back behind the scenes, Radfar said that it allows publishers and brands to monitor “traffic and engagement — here are the networks driving the follows; here’s the content that’s driving the follows.” And then, in turn, he said, “what that’s doing is bringing more and more data into our graph — tak[ing] the power of the network and democratizing it.”

The entities formerly known as AddThis, Clearspring Technologies and XGraph (the company’s “big social data” platform) are consolidating under the AddThis name as of today, and a statement from the company says XGraph “will remain a standalone brand for the data technology and processing platform.”





Adotas Senior Editor Brian LaRue has been working in journalism in some form or another for slightly longer than his entire adult life, having won his first SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) Award while he was still in high school. Prior to joining Adotas, he served as a reporter, editor, columnist, critic and blogger, mostly for a number of daily and weekly newspapers scattered around his native Connecticut. In his off hours, Brian maintains an active parallel life as a musician and music blogger.

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