NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bazaarvoice's (BV) $9 million acquisition of FeedMagnet may help the online customer review network expand its services to social media such as Instagram, Pintrest, Facebook (FB), and Twitter (TWTR). The deal also marks a new strategy for Bazaarvoice after the Department of Justice fought the company's acquisition of competitor PowerReviews.
Instead of trying to further scale in online consumer reviews that are the deciding factor behind a majority of online purchases, Bazaarvoice is looking to expand its services to user-generated content on social networks. That content, whether it's an Instagram photo, a tweet, or a Facebook post, is expected to become of increasing importance for brands and companies seeking online sales.
"When we acquired PowerReviews, we acquired another ratings and reviews provider that gave us additional clients in the small-to-midsize business marketplace," Matt Krebsbach, Bazaarvoice's director of global public relations, told TheStreet in a telephone interview. "FeedMagnet gives us a new product that we did not already have," he said.
As Krebsbach and recently-appointed Bazaarvoice CEO Gene Austin put it, there is a disconnect between what customers are communicating about a brand on social networks like Instagram and what those brands can hear.
Austin, Tx-based Bazaarvoice is the de-facto customer review portal for companies as prominent as Best Buy (BBY), Wal-Mart (WMT), Macy's (M) and Costco (COST), and believes it can provide insights gleaned from social networks to its customers. With FeedMagnet, Bazaarvoice CEO Austin told TheStreet he believes customers will be able identify media such as Instagram images that a company can use on its website or in marketing materials.