Free iPad Webtrends app tracks social media stats

The iPad app monitors Facebook, Twitter and YouTube activity but also offers a mobile interface for Webtrends' enterprise customers

Analytics firm Webtrends has released a free iPad app that can be used to track social media buzz generated via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube named Webtrends Today, the company said on Monday.

The app is meant for digital marketers who can use it to measure the engagement of their Facebook communities and individual Facebook pages and also access data, including the number of likes and conversations, as well as graphic visualizations of social impact across demographics and trending comments, said Webtrends in a news release.

Users are also able to track relevant Twitter influence data including number of followers and retweets and the current Klout score, the company said. Klout is a service that monitors online influence of people and brands, and uses data from social networks to calculate the "online influence" of a brand. Users can also track YouTube data including the number of views on each video as well as total channel views and most viewed and recently viewed videos, it added. YouTube videos can be played within the app.

While data is pulled immediately, what is presented is trending data that's a snapshot of the last 24 hours, according to Benjamin Diggles, Webtrend's director of digital marketing in an email. Users who log in and out every hour or so will see changes in the data, he added.

"This is a very basic app," said Brian Blau, research director for consumer technology and markets at Gartner, who tested the application shortly after it became available. The app only offers six or eight pieces of data that can easily be retrieved by logging into the social media services, he added during a phone interview.

"It is also tough to compare this app to others that offer similar services because it is a reporting app only," Blau said, noting that competitors like HootSuite provide similar data but are more functional because they also offer users the opportunity to manage their social media accounts.

Another analyst has a different view. "This is a smart move for Webtrends," said Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst at Altimeter Group, who added that the company has been trying to get into social analytics for a while. However, there is a lot of competition in that market, he noted.

Webtrends is competing with products like Salesforce's social media analytics tool Radian 6, as well as Adobe's digital marketing suite Omniture and Google Analytics, Owyang said.

However, Webtrends' social analytics app is unique because it is free, Owyang said. Pricing for enterprise vendors using competitive services could amount to US$100,000 or $200,000 per brand set per year to track, he added. "And if you are a company like Proctor & Gamble you might have to monitor up to 300 brands."

It could be a competitive product if customers could add additional functionality for an extra fee making it a so called 'freemium' service, he said, noting that the freemium model made Google's Analytics big.

However, Webtrends is not planning a freemium model for the app. "The app is not going to be based on a freemium model. If anything, Webtrends customers will have access to more features than non-customers as we continue to develop new features but at no point will there be any way to pay to upgrade the app. At least for the foreseeable future," Diggles said.

Webtrends has two initial goals for the app. One is to enable Webtrends' sales staff to have a tool that they can use to demo the Analytics 10 product on the go, Diggles said. And the second goal is to show the market that Webtrends has it's sights set on more than just internal data sets, he added.

The iPad app is available for existing Webtrends customers and integrates data from its Analytics 10 platform allowing users to compare performance metrics and analytics across digital channels including websites, mobile and social properties, according Webtrends. The iPad app can also be used by digital marketers regardless of whether they are current Webtrends customers.

Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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