Now vendors are using more advanced process to analyze natural language, as well as beginning to focus on multilingual support and better analysis of audience "sentiment" and segmentation, the report adds.
Salesforce.com chose to buy Radian6 for a number of reasons, Benioff said during a conference call Wednesday.
"They have the best technology, they also understand the business, and they have the customers," he said. "There's a lot of companies in social media because it's the hottest trend in the world, but this is the company that has monetized it."
Those factors justify the price Salesforce is paying for Radian6, which will be its largest acquisition to date, executives said.
The deal will give Salesforce.com access to a new customer base, namely marketing executives, Benioff said. Right now, Salesforce.com's core customers are in sales and service.
However, "this company will span all of our customers' interests," Benioff added. "What's happening on the social web is important to them."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com