Brandwatch and Crimson Hexagon, two social listening platforms, announced their merger today. The company will maintain the Brandwatch name with Brandwatch Founder and CEO Giles Palmer at the helm.

At Forrester, we’ve been pushing for the next evolution in the social listening space. Our recent evaluation, “The Forrester Wave™: Social Listening Platforms, Q3 2018,” found that vendors’ current product offerings largely look alike, while vendors’ visions and strategies for helping brands unlock enterprisewide social intelligence are the differentiators. With Brandwatch and Crimson Hexagon’s announced merger, we’re excited to see two complementary platforms unite to push the industry forward.

Our evaluation revealed that Crimson Hexagon excels at machine learning, AI, and computer vision especially. Meanwhile, Brandwatch offers the friendliest user interface with flexible data analysis and clean data visualizations. Marrying Crimson Hexagon’s back-end technology with Brandwatch’s front-end UI is a rational move. Additionally, both companies have strong account management and scored high with customer references for their client success programs, indicating that both are fully equipped to lead their customers through the integration transition.

This merger, just a month after Lithium and Spredfast announced theirs in the social media management solutions (SMMS) category, is another data point on the path to social technology consolidation. As we barrel toward full martech + adtech convergence, expect to see more vendors within the same social tech category join forces or vendors consolidating across social tech categories (such as an SMMS acquiring a social adtech or a social listening platform partnering with a SMMS) to build a social suite.