GraphEffect moves beyond Facebook marketing with Shift collaboration platform; hires PMD manager to lead partnerships

Social marketing company GraphEffect today announced the expansion and rebranding of its collaboration platform, as well as the hire of former Facebook partner manager Adam Gerston as VP of Strategic Partnerships for what is now called Shift.

Shift offers open APIs for developers to make their software more collaborative — essentially creating a version of Open Graph for the enterprise so that actions within work-related applications can be shared with internal and cross-organizational teams. GraphEffect’s Facebook ad and page management software will operate on top of Shift. Kenshoo, which builds social and search advertising solutions, is among a number of alpha partners building on the Shift platform.

Gerston, who helped build the Preferred Marketing Developer program during his two and a half years at Facebook, will lead a similar effort at Shift. Other partners announced today include order management software Lettuce, mobile DSP Gradient X, social/mobile app development agency HYFN and recruiting software The Resumator. HYFN and Kenshoo are both part of the Facebook PMD program along with GraphEffect.

GraphEffect launched its collaboration platform in beta under the GraphEffect name about a month ago. Although that was billed as a sort of social network for marketers, Shift aims to serve any vertical through profiles, feeds, messages, groups and apps. It also includes task management and communication features called “follow-ups” and “sidebars.”

CEO James Borow has a vision for Shift to be the infrastructure that makes any enterprise software more collaborative.

“We can do for the enterprise what Facebook did for our social lives,” he says.

At the same time, Shift will be building a graph of its own.

“We want to be the most reliable graph of how you work,” Borow says, noting that LinkedIn’s professional graph has “gotten out of control” because many users add everyone they’ve met or want to know. “We want it to be reflective of the people you actually work with.”

Shift will slowly roll out LinkedIn and Facebook login so users don’t import all their contacts and devalue the relationships on the network. Shift is meant for users to connect in teams that reflect those they work with offline. And since a user’s ID persists, they have a fluid work identity that isn’t completely lost when they change jobs. Borow says that’s the difference between Shift and enterprise networks like Yammer, which he feels is too restrictive.

Borow wants Shift to be free for users and developers so it won’t charge people to sign up and it won’t take a cut of application revenues. He says the platform can monetize by providing additional services for the enterprise like additional security or storage.

GraphEffect raised $12 million led by Rincon Venture Partners in June. The company is expected to generate $40-50 million this year through its social advertising platform, according to Business Insider. GraphEffect is one of 12 Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers.

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