Talking tech since 2003

Monitoring for keyword mentions on the Web used to be as simple as setting up a Google Alert. However, that product has lost a lot of its usefulness over the past year or two — personally, I wasn’t getting alerts “as they happened” at all, but instead days later. And that’s if they ever came. Fortunately for mention, a French startup in that same monitoring and alerts space, Google’s disregard for its own product helped push users toward other options.

mention-screenMention is, in the words of CEO Edouard de la Jonquiere, “Google Alerts on steroids.” Once an internal tool developed by de la Jonquiere and his fellow co-founders at eFounders, the group realized that it had potential of its own in the market and began developing it as a standalone product. Mention not only monitors the Web like Google Alerts did, it also works social media mentions into the mix. For example, your own search could return results from sources like Twitter, Facebook, websites, blogs, news sites, message boards, images and videos.

And mention really begins to blur the line between monitoring tool and all-out social media dashboard when you realize that you can reply to mentions, too. The ability to integrate your social networks into the product puts mention more in line with a tool like Radian6, though de la Jonquiere was quick to tell me that mention isn’t trying to compete with that specific product. He believes the target markets for both products are different and the pricing of mention — thousands of dollars per month less than Radian6 — reflects that.

Back in March, mention received $800,000 of seed funding and also announced that it had about 50,000 users. A little over two months later, the number of users has doubled to over 100,000. Just as I experienced my own issues with Google Alerts, so did many other users, and de la Jonquiere beleives that many migrated over to mention in search of a more reliable monitoring and alerts tool. He also said that Google’s closure of Reader and the subsequent scrutiny of its other products may have added to the influx of users.

Mention is available on a number of different platforms — you can almost take your pick, really. There is a Web dashboard, desktop apps for Windows/Mac/Linux, a Chrome extension, and apps for both iOS and Android. De la Jonquiere informed me that a brand new version of mention will be unveiled soon with tools to make the software more collaborative. Mention is also working to add even more data sources and plans to revamp its UI to be more consistent across all devices and platforms.

There are three subscription tiers for mention. The first is free and gets you 3 alerts and 500 mentions per month, as well as one month of backed-up history. The other two tiers, Pro and Team, up the ante to 50 alerts and 50,000 mentions per month with unlimited archives. Pro starts at $19.99 per month, while Team is $99.99 per month for 5 users. If you need to add more users, you can pay more and upgrade Team to 10, 15 or 20 users.

Do you plan on giving mention a try for your business? If you do, we’d love to hear what you think. Drop your comments below.

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