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News Corp acquires social media tool Storyful

By Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) - News Corp on Friday made its first acquisition as a stand-alone company with the $25 million purchase of social news tool Storyful.

Founded in 2008 and based in Dublin, Ireland, Storyful verifies and manages the rights holders of news and videos on social media platforms such as Twitter in real time.

"Storyful has become the village square for valuable video, using journalistic sensibility, integrity and creativity to find, authenticate and commercialize user-generated content," News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said in a statement.

The move sheds a bit of light on News Corp's acquisition strategy. Since it separated from its cable, TV and movie sister properties, now known as 21st Century Fox, in July, analysts have been keen to understand how News Corp plans to use its sizable chest of cash of more than $2 billion.

News Corp said it will operate Storyful as a stand-alone business unit that will continue to maintain partnerships with other news organizations, including the New York Times, Reuters and ABC News.

"We see significant value, especially on the video end, to marry your own video with viral video that is out there," said Raju Narisetti, senior vice president of strategy at News Corp.

Additionally, News Corp plans to extend Storyful's tool to advertisers and marketers so they can verify the social chatter around a brand campaign.

Storyful's management team of Chief Executive Mark Little and Executive Editor David Clinch will continue to oversee operations. Rahul Chopra, senior vice president of video for News Corp, will join Storyful, taking the additional role of chief revenue officer.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York)

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