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9/6/2012
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HootSuite Buys Seesmic, Seeks To Convert Customers

Seesmic desktop, mobile clients appear ready to ride into the sunset.

10 Social Acquisitions Signify Bigger Trends
10 Social Acquisitions Signify Bigger Trends
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HootSuite announced Thursday it is buying Seesmic and looking to absorb its customer base.

"We are thrilled to welcome Seesmic's users into the HootSuite family," HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes declared in a press release announcing the deal, which talks about the options Seesmic users will be offered for converting to HootSuite Pro at $9.99 per month or testing the waters with the free edition. In the same release, Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur enthused, "We're thrilled today to announce that Seesmic is joining HootSuite, and we're excited for our users: they are becoming part of the HootSuite family, and they will be able to continue to build their brand and social business."

The initial announcement made no mention of what would happen to Seesmic's current products and services, but HootSuite published a follow-up blog post saying it would support Seesmic "while transitioning business users to HootSuite's larger social media management toolset." A report in TechCrunch quoted Holmes saying HootSuite is buying Seesmic for its customers, not its technology.

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HootSuite provides a social media dashboard with both social media monitoring and cross-network publishing capabilities, as well as an expanding set of add-on apps and plugins.

Seesmic had cycled through several business models since it was founded in 2008, originally as a video blogging site. Then its Seesmic Desktop became one of the best known Twitter desktop clients, employed by active Twitter users to manage multiple feeds and profiles. But then Twitter bought rival twitter client TweetDeck in May 2011 and began sending strong signals that it would discourage the development of partner applications that replicate the Twitter user experience, which Twitter deemed a threat to its advertising business model. Twitter continues to tighten its APIs and developer rules, particularly for any app deemed to mimic the consumer experience on Twitter as opposed to providing a front end for business uses such as publishing and analytics.

Seesmic's recent emphasis has been on Seesmic Ping, an application for publishing to multiple social media accounts, created as the result of its acquisition of Ping.fm, and on mobile clients for the Ping service. The Seesmic website continues to advertise that service, but it looks like it's on the way out.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)

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PJS880
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PJS880,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/8/2012 | 3:10:09 PM
re: HootSuite Buys Seesmic, Seeks To Convert Customers
I am a big fan of free, and Hootsuite fits my budget. Smart move to add the already increasing database of customers Hootsuite already has. It is a smart move because there will be no sale involved. Basically you make an announcement that states hey we now are operating under a more user friendly larger toolset, and the customers should migrate with little or no convincing. I do not know if Seesmic charges a fee for their former services but it will be interesting to see if the paid users get a migrate with Hootsuite plus, with no additional fees.

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor
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