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Socialtext, a social business/activity stream system, has released version 6 of its core offering, and it features a more comprehensive search feature, and a video integration right in the stream.

Video Integration, Activity Stream Upgrades

This is a major update for Socialtext, and video integration in version 6 extends beyond adding videos to the activity stream. Videos can be recorded, hosted and streamed to various devices, commented on and shared, and even be searched to exact moments. There are also prebuilt widgets available for sharing videos from third parties.

The activity stream has also been enhanced in Socialtext 6, and it features previews of embedded files from URLs, and an image viewer that shows pictures inline. The stream is also now perpetually scrolling, and that makes past information easier to access and find.

When people need to reach out to others in the company, the People and Groups Directory is used to find just the right expert. They are now displayed in a graphic list and grid view, and categories are pre defined. Additionally, the dashboard has been redesigned, and there's an added ribbon in the header for all the navigation. The ribbon stays visible at all times, and widgets now have their own section.

Unified Smart Search

Having a place where coworkers can discuss things is what the activity stream is all about, and despite making things easier to find in the stream itself, search has been upgraded as well. Autocomplete technology has been added to search, and suggesting search terms there should help speed up finding the right document or discussion much quicker.

Search results will display all related pages, documents, people, signals and groups. The changes add up to a big update for Socialtext, and perhaps even enough for it to vault past many of its competitors. Socialtext was named a niche player in the Gartner 2012 MQ for Social Software, and that report named leaders as Jive, IBM, Yammer and Salesforce.

However, among the other niche players and even the visionaries, Socialtext may indeed be able to make some hay with its upgrades. The system costs US$ 9 per user per month with volume discounts available. While Socialtext many not yet be on par with a tool like Yammer, version 6 will likely keep it in the conversation for those large companies looking for social business tools.