Last week, Livefyre raised $15-million in venture capital from a blue-chip group of investors that includes U.S. Venture Partners, Greycroft Partners, Cue Ball, HillsVen Group, and ff Venture Capital. Among other things, the money will be used to let Livefyre continue its “aggressive growth”.
So what’s interesting about a $15-million financing at a time when many startups are attracting lots of venture capital?
For people interested in blogging, the Livefyre deal is interesting because, in some respects, it puts the comment back into the spotlight.
Remember, the blog comment? When blogging hit the mainstream five or six years ago, there was a flurry of comments. This was probably because the ability to react to content was new and exciting.
Since then, however, the blog comment has seemed to fade into the background. Many people find it easier to use Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to share content, rather than write a comment.
But Livefyre’s financing could suggest the blog comment has more value than we think. Within the company’s product portfolio is Livefyre Comments, which many bloggers have adopted as an alternative to WordPress’s native comment system or third-party services such as Disqus.
Livefyre Comments has gained a lot of traction because it lets commenters highlight their only content, while publishers get a new way to use social media to drive content distribution.
“Livefyre gives brands and publishers the power to bring visitors back to their sites and build communities around their content,” said Livefyre Founder and CEO Jordan Kretchmer. “Dozens of the world’s largest media companies utilize our platform to turn their pages into real-time streams of social content.”
The question is whether $15-million of venture capital for Livefyre suggests comments are poised to stage a renaissance because there are tangible benefits for both publishers and the people who take the time and effort to leave a blog comment.
In other words, Livefyre makes the comment a win-win proposition for everyone involved.
As someone who has blogged for a long time, anything that will encourage people to leave comments is a good thing. A big part of what makes blogging so rewarding is having people engaged and involved with your content, so here’s hoping comments are on the comeback trail.
What do you think? Do blog comments still have value? Can the comment thrive amid so much social competition?