Following news of Lithium’s acquisition yesterday (and Jive’s from earlier in the month), we should probably reflect quickly about the community space.
We’ve been hearing rumours for some time now about both companies high staff churn/layoffs, reducing costs, and facing pressure on prices from companies like Salesforce.
This follows a trend we’ve been seeing for a while which is the traditional brand community space has peaked and is now a mature market. From an English-speaking brand perspective, it’s probably not going to get much bigger than it is now and the majority of platform purchases will be upgrades/migrations rather than companies building a new community.
I expect both companies (acquired by private equity) to be run as mature cash cows with a focus on maximizing profit (probably by reducing costs). With a few exceptions (Skype), most platforms don’t get much better after an acquisition.
For you, it probably puts you in a very favourable negotiating position. We know with at least one prospective client Lithium made an incredible offer too.
The growth in the broader community space will be on lower budget communities such as those running groups for Facebook (who are pushing groups hard again), Slack and new platforms that will emerge.
Very keen to hear our community’s thoughts on this though. What do you think? What are you seeing? What are your experiences?