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Mood measureViralheat’s analytics software follows mentions of a brand in a variety of sources, including Twitter and Facebook. It analyzes these mentions to determine the tone of the conversation.

“The depth of their analytics is really stunning,” says Carla Thompson, a senior analyst for Guidewire Group, a firm that analyzes early-stage technology companies. She’s particularly impressed by the sentiment analysis that Viralheat does, which calls for fairly sophisticated algorithms and processing power.

But Thompson believes that Viralheat, like other analytics companies, could do a better job of helping its customers act on data. For example, while Viralheat can show that mentions of a brand are spiking, she says, it would be ideal if it could suggest a next action to help take advantage of this buzz.

Counter to common startup wisdom today, Viralheat’s founders say it’s cheaper for the company to avoid cloud-computing services. Founder and CTO Vishal Sankhla explains that the service constantly uses a lot of bandwidth, making it more effective to build and operate its own server farm. “We analyze five to six terabytes of data every month,” and paying a third party for that level of usage would quickly become cost-prohibitive, he says.

Thompson believes that Viralheat is well-placed to be a viable player in the market, particularly because the company’s pricing plans are more cost-efficient than any of the other analytics companies that she’s seen. Most analytics companies charge based on how many times a brand is mentioned, so she expects that this company’s offer of unlimited mentions will be attractive to potential customers.

The company offers several levels of pricing, ranging from $9.99 per month for the individual plan to $89.99 per month for the plan intended for large companies. The basic plan allows a user to monitor up to 10 profiles, while the premium plans add features such as access to the API.

Viralheat already counts Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Nokia among its customers. Its closest competitors are Radian6 and Scout Labs.

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Credit: Viralheat

Tagged: Business, Web, Facebook, Internet, Twitter, social networking, social media, analytics, natural language

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