The Hootsuite Dashboard
|Type of business||Private|
Type of site
|Social media management, social networking service|
|Founded||Vancouver, BC, Canada (2008)|
|Headquarters||5 East 8th Avenue|
Vancouver, V5T 1R6
|Founder(s)||Ryan Holmes, Dario Meli, David Tedman|
|Key people||Ryan Holmes (CEO)|
Greg Twinney (COO/CFO)
Penny Wilson (CMO)
|Employees||1,504 (Jan 2019)|
|Registration||Free, Pro, Team, Business, Enterprise|
|Users||Over 16 million (March 2018)|
Hootsuite is a social media management platform, created by Ryan Holmes in 2008. The system's user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.
In 2008, Holmes needed a tool to manage multiple social media networks at his digital services agency, Invoke Media. Finding that there was no product in the market offering all the features he sought, Holmes, along with Dario Meli, David Tedman, and the Invoke team, chose instead to develop a platform of their own that would be able to organize their many social media accounts and networks. The first iteration of this social media management system launched on November 28, 2008 in the form of a Twitter dashboard called BrightKit.
Recognizing that many other individuals and organizations across the world were facing similar problems with managing multiple social accounts, Holmes decided that BrightKit could be the solution for other businesses also looking to organize their own social networks. The launch of BrightKit had a very positive reception, thanks to its clean interface and publishing capabilities.
In February 2009, Holmes offered a $500 prize for renaming the platform, and used crowdsourced suggestions from the dashboard's 100,000+ users as contest submissions. The winning idea was Hootsuite, a moniker submitted by a user named Matt Nathan and based upon "Owly", the dashboard's owl logo, as a word play on the French expression "tout de suite", meaning "right now".
In November 2009, the Hootsuite dashboard expanded its offering to support Facebook and LinkedIn, and the capability to use Twitter Lists.
In December 2009, Hootsuite spun off from Invoke Media and launched officially as an independent company, Hootsuite Media, Inc. That same month, Hootsuite received $1.9 million in funding from Hearst Interactive Media, Blumberg Capital, and prominent angel investors Leo Group LLC and Geoff Entress.
In March 2012, OMERS Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, invested $20 million, valuing the company at US$200 million. OMERS did not buy its stake directly in the company, but rather bought private shares in a secondary transaction from a handful of employees and early investors, said Holmes.
In July 2012, an employee informed Forbes magazine that the company's team consisted of 200 employees at that time.
In September 2012, Hootsuite acquired Seesmic, a customer relationship management system and competitor.
On August 1, 2013, the company announced that it had raised US$165 million in Series B funding from Insight Venture Partners, followed by Accel Partners and OMERS—all three will now have a seat on Hootsuite's board. Holmes also said the company was looking to make at least two unnamed acquisitions, in addition to employing 100 overseas employees.
In February 2017, Hootsuite announced its acquisition of AdEspresso, a digital advertisement manager, and LiftMetrix, a leading social media analytics company.
In March 2018, Hootsuite announced $50 million in growth capital from CIBC Innovation Banking.
The service is commonly used to manage online brands and to submit messages to a variety of social media services, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Mixi. Companies and organizations known to use Hootsuite include Facebook, the Obama administration, HBO, Martha Stewart Media, Virgin Group, SXSW, Panasonic, Zappos, The Gap and LHC. Hootsuite provides a browser-based dashboard that allows users to keep updated on their Twitter account. There are both full and lite versions of the service. Hootsuite uses the URL shortener ow.ly to shorten URLs submitted to its service.
The company behind the service is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and its chief executive officer is Ryan Holmes. The company's business strategy allows users free basic service with payment for additional features.
In January 2010, the Hootsuite company was spun out of Invoke Media after venture capital firms Blumberg Capital and Hearst Interactive Media raised $2 million in financing for the company. Localized versions of Hootsuite are available in Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and German, and 50 more languages are planned to be added. Hootsuite's team continues to contact media organizations to help them manage their online brands, by meeting with groups such as Time Inc. and its subsidiary magazines, including People, InStyle, and This Old House.
As of June 2010, the service manages over one million social media accounts for 400,000 unique users.
In September 2014, Hootsuite's New Enterprise customers included Telekom Malaysia, Singapore Press Holdings, Brooklyn Public Library, Cambridge University Press, Red Carnation Hotels and Hyland Software Inc.
In 2017 Hootsuite had more than 15 million users worldwide.
The Hootsuite software has won awards from Mashable at their Open Web Awards 2009, the Canadian New Media Award, the Shorty Awards, and "Best Twitter App" from Australia's mX newspaper. It was a 2012 nominee for the Webby Awards.
Hootsuite is competing in a marketplace for social media dashboard tools or platforms, where marketers are focused on social media management for their clients' web engagement activities. Hootsuite's best known competitors include Spredfast and Sprout Social. Each of the big three dashboards pursues innovation strategies that emulate the most recent feature enhancements of the other two; for example, TweetDeck launched with a desktop application based on the Adobe AIR platform, and eventually Seesmic rolled out its own Desktop version.
Additional competition includes the social media and media monitoring niche, such as Mention or Metricool, which offers real-time web and social media monitoring in multiple languages, and is designed to provide alerts on a desktop and smart devices. Within financial services, companies like Gremln provide social media publishing tools that help companies meet strict compliance rules.
Other competition in this space includes platforms that appeal to niche segments, such as Octopusocial, which provides a social media marketing platform designed for B2B social media and content marketing. In 2015, companies like Tiempy and Everypost arose in Latin America to compete in the same market, bringing easy to understand tools that non-expert users can utilize. CoSchedule is another online marketing calendar that allows users to easily schedule through social media in one simple step, keeping all social and content in one place, providing a "unified workflow."
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- Official Website
- Hootsuite at Crunchbase
- "How to Use Hootsuite for Better Twitter Management" at Hallam Internet
- "Becoming a Hootsuite Ambassador" at Hootsuite Blog