Salesforce.com just released Chatter to the public in June, but the company is already announcing the release of Chatter 2. The new version, which should be generally available in October to both Salesforce.com and Chatter stand-alone subscribers, introduces new features the company says were commonly requested. Specifically, Chatter 2 gives users the ability to follow more types of "stuff." In addition to people, Chatter users will now be able to follow files, dashboard updates, reports and more.
Other new features, none of which should be too surprising to active social media users, include:
- Chatter Filters: The ability to filter your stream based on what type of stuff you're looking at.
- Chatter Topics: Similar to Twitter hash tags.
- Chatter Recommendations: An automated recommendation system suggesting which groups a user should join, what to follow, etc.
- Chatter Desktop: An Adobe AIR based desktop client.
- Chatter Analytics: Exactly what it sounds like.
Activity streams and microblogging platforms are hot. If I got paid by the word, I could get rich just listing all the products out there. Suffice it to say, Chatter faces a lot of competition - Yammer, MangoSpring, SocialText and SocialCast are just a few of the companies in this space.
According to Salesforce.com, Chatter is the company's most successful launch. And more importantly, it's bringing Salesforce.com outside of the sales and customer service departments and even into companies that don't use it for CRM. Salesforce.com's deep enterprise penetration is probably responsible for Chatter's success, but the company also has a strong track record in the SaaS business - something many of its competitors can't say.