ArchiveSocial Offers ‘Authentic’ Social Media Archiving

Other vendors struggle with comprehensive archive

ArchiveSocial, a Raleigh, N.C.-based social media archiver, emerged from its pilot program with a mind to “authentically capture” businesses’ social media activity and keep them compliant.

“We come from a background of social media technology,” Anil Chawla, founder of ArchiveSocial, told AdvisorOne on Tuesday. “When looking at the industry, a number of vendors are archiving, but not in an authentic fashion.”

For Chawla, that means designing a system that is simple and familiar. “We wanted to make it as easy as possible,” he said.

The ArchiveSocial system, which has been piloted among “a couple of dozen organizations for a good portion of this year,” is entirely Web-based. Advisors can set up their account in two to three minutes, Chawla said. Furthermore, the “interface feels like social media.” Data captured from a user’s Facebook wall, for example, look like Facebook status updates. Rather than a simple screenshot, though, captured data includes the post and all associated comments, the timestamp for each, and a digital signature that confirms that data originated on the social media network and hasn’t been edited or altered in any way.

“You wouldn’t capture Gmail HTML and call it archiving,” Chawla said. The digital signature allows an advisor to prove when and where a comment or post came from.

Many vendors struggle with comments, Chawla said, because they don’t happen on a strict timeline. A post can attract comments a year after it’s made, making it difficult to keep content together. “From a regulatory standpoint, you have to have all associated comments,” Chawla said.

When advisors connect to ArchiveSocial, Chawla said, the system pulls their entire available history on the site, rather than limiting captured data to information posted after signing up. Data is stored in a searchable, exportable database, so advisors can save their archive as a PDF or Excel file if they choose.

The system currently archives data from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, with plans to add YouTube and RSS feed archiving “hopefully in the next two months.”

“We build our technology in house,” Chawla said. “We try to figure out the best way to archive in a useful, authentic way.”

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