The market for social customer relationship management software -- which allows companies to gauge sentiment on social media sites -- is expected to reach $820 million this year and climb above $1 billion by the end of 2012, according to Gartner. Salesforce.com and other large companies are snapping up smaller ones to bolster their social CRM tools. But the picture is bleaker for many social CRM providers, which are growing fast but are generally small and unprofitable.

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