How you know the brands-as-media trend has officially entered the mainstream: Even Walmart is doing it. This morning the retail giant, which was known for bumbling a few early attempts to harness social media, announced its plans to buy Kosmix, a social media platform that lets users filter the content in their various social networks, better connecting them to the information they care most about. For instance, Kosmix powers TweetBeat, a realtime filter for coverage of live events.
Once they’re fully acquired by Walmart (the deal isn’t quite done) Kosmix will join a new group called @WalmartLabs, to create ways for the retail behemoth to expand its social and mobile commerce. Like any retailer worth its salt, Walmart seems to have realized the need for “a multi-channel strategy” when it comes to branding. According to Kosmix co-founder Anand Rajaraman, the future of retailing is “building integrated experiences that leverage the store, the web, and mobile, with social identity being the glue that binds the experience.”
If that’s the case, even as some cities fight the physical presence of Walmart, it might become a lot harder to keep it from infiltrating our online lives. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of mobile and social platform(s) Walmart comes up with — once they’re operating full steam ahead, their initiatives could soon turn as ubiquitous as their stores.