Buffer (application)

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Buffer
Initial release November 30, 2010; 4 years ago (2010-11-30)
Stable release 4.1.2 / January 10, 2015; 5 months ago (2015-01-10)
Development status Active
Platform Android, iOS
Size 13.5 MB
Available in English
Website buffer.com

Buffer is a software application designed to manage social networks, by providing the means for a user to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

The application was designed by a group of European expats in San Francisco.[1] The two major co-founders of the applications are Joel Gascoigne, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the company, and Leo Widrich, who is also the Chief Operating Officer of Buffer.[2] By December 2014, the team reached 29 people from different parts of the world.[3]

As of January 2015, Buffer has more than 2,000,000 registered users.[4]

History[edit]

Buffer began its development in October 2010 in Birmingham, United Kingdom by co-founder, Joel Gascoigne, who established the idea of the social media application while he was in the United Kingdom.[5] Once he developed the idea he created a landing page to see if enough people were interested in the product to make it a profitable venture. After reaching a critical mass of registrations, Gascoigne built and designed the first version of the application software over a span of 7 weeks.[6]

On November 30, 2010, the launch of the initial version of Buffer took place, which only contained limited features that allowed the access to the social networking website, Twitter. Four days after the software’s launch, in December 2010, Buffer gained its first paying user.[7] A few weeks after this, the number of users reached 100, and then that number multiplied to 100,000 users within the next 9 months since its launch.[8]

In July 2011, the cofounders decided to move the startup venture from the United Kingdom to San Francisco in the United States, during which Buffer converted into an incorporation. Whilst in San Francisco, the cofounders dealt with the San Franciscan startup incubators AngelPad. This was due to the increase in cost after moving from Birmingham. Throughout December 2011, cofounders Joel and Leo were able to secure 18 investors to their company, after being refused by 88% of the people they met with to offer an investment to their company.[9] A few of the investor include, Maneesh Arora, the Founder of MightyText, Thomas Korte, the founder of AngelPad, and Andy McLoughlin, the co-founder of the software company, Huddle.[10]

Due to visa issues with the co-founders, the company’s base shifted to Hong Kong in January 2012. Then in August 2012, it migrated again to Tel Aviv, Israel. This was because of more visa troubles in Hong Kong. In May 2013, the company’s base shifted back to the United States, after the co-founders’ visa predicaments were resolved.[11]

Features[edit]

Basic Plan[edit]

Buffer allows users to schedule posts sent through the application to the user’s social media accounts. This feature can schedule and send posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, App.net and Google+. There are various default timeslots in the application, which are based on the times during the day when social media users are most active online. However, Buffer does allow its users to mend or remove the default timeslots if they wish to do so .[12] The free version of the application allows a maximum limit of 10 posts to be scheduled at any given time, and only allows the management of one social media account per social media website. Buffer also contains features that give post suggestions to users, and gives information on the number of clicks, retweets, likes, favorites, mentions and potential views each post has, which is based on the number of feeds that single feed would show up on.[13]

The Buffer application is compatible with three different platforms:

  • Browser: allows the application to work as downloaded extensions for three browsers, Google Chrome, Safari and Mozilla Firefox.
  • Mobile: allows the application to be installed on iOS systems and Android phones.
  • Newsreader: allows the application to be integrated with various newsreader applications, such as Flipboard and Zite.[14]

Awesome Plan[edit]

Buffer offers a paid plan, named Awesome, which gives paying users access to additional features, such as the Feeds feature that adds an RSS feed to a user’s Buffer profile, displaying suggested links from external websites chosen by the user. Buffer now covers content curation, content creation, and content discovery—and that providing one of the simplest social media management tools.[15] Buffer now covers content curation, content creation, and content discovery—and that providing one of the simplest social media management tools.

Other additional features include a more detailed analytics that analyze the user’s accounts based on factors such as the number of posts sent out and the number of active users over a span of time. The Awesome plan also allows an increased limit of 100 posts at any single time, and the option to manage 10 social account profiles.[16]

Buffer for Business[edit]

Buffer for Business is an extension of the Buffer application, which has features that specialize in managing social media accounts for businesses and corporations. It contains a similar interface to Buffer, but with additional features. The additional features incorporate:

  • More specified analytics that allow comparisons between different metrics, such as between retweets clicks and posts, sorting of different data to the preference of the user, and accumulation of statistics
  • Team collaboration features that contains approval features, admin privileges that give privileges to users assigned as managers over any other member assigned as a contributor, and allows more members of a team to access and manage the accounts[17]
  • Exporting options that allow data, statistics and analysis to be exported to any reports or documents[18]

The costs of Buffer for Business differ depending on the scale and size of the potential user’s business, which is put in a different category that corresponds to a special payment plan:

  • Small Business: which allows the management of 25 social media accounts and the access of 5 team members
  • Medium Business: which allows management of 50 social media accounts and the access of 10 team members
  • Large Business or Agency: which allows management of 50 social media accounts and the access of 10 team members[19]

Since its launch in 2013, Buffer for Business has produced over 10% of the total revenue by December 2013.[20] The app currently has over 2,500 publishers and agencies using the applications services. Among the most popular organizations that use Buffer for Business are About.com, Fortune Magazine, and Business Insider.[21]

Popularity and Growth[edit]

Since its establishment in 2010, Buffer’s total revenue per year increased to $1 million in January 2013, and then crossed $2 million in September of the same year through the growth of customers using the application. By September 2013, Buffer gained 1 million users, with around 16,000 paying user. The number of posts shared through Buffer application crossed 87,790,000 posts and the number of accounts that were used through the application reached 1,266,722, with an average of 70 posts per account .[22] By February 2014, the number of Buffer users had gotten to 1,320,813, with nearly 71,770 new users gained in January of that year alone. The organization’s annual revenue reached $3,900,000, with a 38.3% increase since December 2013.[23]

Partnerships[edit]

In 2013, Buffer partnered with Mention, a web and social media monitoring tool for businesses. The partnership allows users to monitor mentions of their brand and share them with all their social accounts via Buffer.[24]

Marketing[edit]

Buffer’s team uses multiple platforms as a means for marketing, which include blogs, emails and various social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Co-founder Leo Widrich handles the BDM marketing of Buffer. While, both Leo and Joel blog and post articles, updates and information about the application through various websites such as the Buffer blog website.[25]

Controversy[edit]

In October 2013, Buffer’s system was hacked, allowing the hackers to get access to many users’ accounts. This resulted in the hackers posting spam posts through many of the user’s social media accounts. On October 26, 2013, Buffer was temporarily suspended, as a result of the hacking predicament, due to ongoing investigations on the issue. Co-founder Joel Gascoigne sent an email to all users, apologizing about the issue and advising Buffer users about the steps that should be taken by them. Buffer was then unsuspended within the same week.[26]

Related Products and Services[edit]

Daily By Buffer[edit]

Launched in May 2014, Daily by Buffer is a product developed by the Buffer brand to manage social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, using waves that allow the user to choose to share or dismiss any recommended links or headlines. This app has initially been released for iOS specifically. This application follows a similar gesture system to another popular social media application, Tinder. In Daily by Buffer, the user can accept and share a suggested link or headline by either clicking the green circular icon located on the lower right corner of the applications interface, or by swiping their finger to the right on the screen. Similarly, the user can dismiss a suggestion by either clicking the red icon on the bottom left corner of the application, or by swiping their finger to the left of the screen.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eric Eldon (20 December 2011). "Sharing Scheduler App Buffer Raises $400,000, Gets Kicked Out Of US". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Buffer Team. "Team". BufferApp. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Gascoigne, Joel (21 September 2014). "Why we have a core value of transparency at our startup, and why the reasons don't matter". Joel.is. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Buffer Investors’ Update: New Company Structure, $5M Annual Revenue". 
  5. ^ Doherty, Jon (21 January 2013). "Talking Marketing with Leo Widrich of Buffer". http://www.johnfdoherty.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Gascoigne, Joel. "Idea to Paying Customers in 7 Weeks: How We Did It". Buffer Blog. 
  7. ^ Widrich, Leo (19 September 2013). "From 0 to 1,000,000 Users the Journey and Statistics of Buffer". www.bufferapp.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Siu, Eric (26 July 2012). "How Guest Posting Propelled One Site From 0 to 100,000 Customers". http://searchenginewatch.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Widrich, Leo (19 September 2013). "From 0 to 1,000,000 Users the Journey and Statistics of Buffer". www.bufferapp.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Widrich, Leo (20 December 2011). "The 17 Awesome Investors in Our 400000 Seed Round-and How We Met Them". www.bufferapp.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  11. ^ Widrich, Leo (19 September 2013). "From 0 to 1,000,000 Users the Journey and Statistics of Buffer". www.bufferapp.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Moreau, Elise. "Buffer App Scheduling Tool for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn". WebTrends. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Buffer for Social Media: Twitter & More By Buffer, Inc.". Itunes. Apple. 23 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Moreau, Elise. "Buffer App Scheduling Tool for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn". WebTrends. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Lee, Kevan (15 May 2014). "Introducing Feeds". www.bufferapp.com. 
  16. ^ "Buffer Awesome". www.bufferapp.com. 
  17. ^ Dugan, Lauren (18 December 2013). "Buffer For Business: Powerful Analytics, Team Collaboration And Data Exporting For Twitter". Media Bistro. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  18. ^ Cooper, Belle Beth (12 December 2013). "Introducing Buffer for Business: A Simpler and More Powerful Social Media Tool". Buffer App. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "Buffer for Business". Buffer for Business. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  20. ^ Widrich, Leo (8 December 2013). "How Much Revenue Did Buffer for Business Generate for November?". Buffer App. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "Buffer for Business". Buffer for Business. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  22. ^ Wagner, Kurt (19 September 2013). "Tweet-Scheduling App 'Buffer' Hits 1 Million Users". www.mashable.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  23. ^ Gascoigne, Joel (5 February 2014). "Buffer January Update $3,900,00 Run Rate, 1,320,813 Users". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  24. ^ https://blog.bufferapp.com/mention-and-buffer-partner-for-a-better-way-to-monitor-and-publish-on-social-media
  25. ^ Ciotti, Gregory. "How The BufferApp Grew To 70,000+ Users With A Solid Product & Content Marketing". SparringMind. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  26. ^ Jantsch, John (28 October 2013). "How You Handle Controversy Speaks Volumes About Your Brand". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  27. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (26 June 2014). "Daily, A New App From Buffer, Uses Tinder Gestures For Finding And Sharing Content". TechCrunch. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 

External links[edit]