Blog: Dean BestWal-Mart shows social side with Kosmix acquisition

Dean Best | 19 April 2011

Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, has dipped its sizeable toes into the mergers and acquisitions waters with the purchase of Kosmix, a company that analyses social media.

The retail giant announced the acquisition of the company - based in Silicon Valley and set up by entrepreneurs who saw a former business, Junglee, sold to Amazon in 1998 - yesterday (18 April). Wal-Mart said the deal "underscored [our] commitment to social and mobile commerce".

Wal-Mart, which operates e-commerce businesses in nine out of the 15 countries in which it operates, said Kosmix's "innovative technology platform searches and analyzes connections in real-time data streams to deliver highly personalized insights to users".

"The platform powers TweetBeat, a real-time social media filter for live events with more than five million visits last month;, a site to discover social content by topic; and RightHealth, one of the top three health and medical information sites by global reach," Wal-Mart said.

Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart's vice chairman, said "social networking and mobile applications are increasingly becoming a part of our customers' day-to-day lives globally, influencing how they think about shopping, both online and in retail stores".

In a Tweet to just-food, Bryan Roberts, director of retail insights at Kantar Worldpanel, said the deal "makes sense. E- and m-commerce going to be a big part of their global biz, so a better 24-7 conversation with shoppers is key".


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