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) --


posted better-than-expected third-quarter revenue Thursday, while earnings increased slightly.

Investors reacted positively to the results; shares jumped almost 9% in after-hours trading Thursday.

Adjusted profit rose 14% year-over-year to 32 cents per share, while revenue increased 30% to $429 million.

Analysts had expected a profit of 31 cents per share on revenue of $410.4 million.

Salesforce also upped its full year 2011 guidance, raising revenue forecasts to a range of $1.647 billion to $1.649 billion and adjusted profit to $1.18 to $1.19.

Fourth-quarter revenue is projected in the range of $447 million to $449 million, while adjusted EPS is expected between 27 cents to 28 cents.

Salesforce, which competes with









, specializes in cloud computing services, which to run software applications on remote servers for clients.

Salesforce has also pushed into the enterprise social media and collaboration space via its Chatter application, which the company hyped during its earnings call with analysts.

Almost 70% of Salesforce's 87,000 customers use Chatter -- a


-like social network for businesses -- since its launch last year, CEO Marc Benioff said.

While Chatter provides no material revenue impact, the application drives adoption and stickiness of the Salesforce platform. "Chatter is the next killer application for Salesforce," Benioff said. "It really is the next wave of computing."

Chatter is quickly replacing outdated products like



Lotus, which Benioff called "junk."

Salesforce plans to launch a free, virally-based version of Chatter that it will introduce to customers at Dreamforce, its cloud computing expo in San Francisco next month. It will also release a lead-generation service called in the first quarter of 2012.

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.

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