Post-Dreamforce: Marc Benioff Gives Some More Details–And Clarifications–About Salesforce Chatter

Salesforce may have given some people a bit of a shock when Marc Benioff made the launch of Salesforce Chatter the subject of his keynote speech on Tuesday. Since that introduction, many have been calling it the “Facebook for enterprise.” Today, however, Benioff refuted that epithet at TechCrunch’s RealTime CrunchUp, and said that he prefers it be considered a collaboration tool.

During his speech, Benioff brought Chatter’s product lead, Steve Fisher, and the two gave some details. Benioff elaborated on his preference of “collaboration tool” over “social network” by calling Chatter, “a social extension to the platform.” As such an extension, developers will be able to tap into Chatter’s API to create social enterprise apps on the platform. And Benioff elaborated to say that Salesforce is “becoming a type of distribution network, not just an application provider, so any app can plug into us to provide content to Salesforce users. We can bring content to people via Chatter.”

In terms of the motives driving Chatter, Benioff made an interesting point when he stated that he has some 5,000 Facebook friends, many of whom are relative strangers, and about whom he knows more (through the network) than he does about some of his most valued employees. There can be no real downside to encouraging this kind of network among coworkers, but it still doesn’t explain how having a database for personal information results in collaborative projects.

But perhaps things that are unfamiliar only seem strange at first—TechCrunch’s Steve Gillmor congratulated Benioff on being “two years” ahead of the competition, and he’s probably right. Though impressed by Salesforce Chatter, many of us are scratching our heads as to how this is the biggest news to come from Dreamforce, but in two years, we probably will be wondering what we did without it.

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  1. […] clarified some of Chatter misconceptions about a week ago at TechCrunch’s Real-Time CrunchUp, and also explained at a press conference […]

  2. […] the release of Chatter at their annual Dreamforce conference two weeks ago, and though CEO Marc Benioff insists that Chatter is a platform for collaboration, conference attendees christened it “Facebook for […]

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