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Hootsuite Media, Inc.
The Hootsuite Dashboard
Type Private
Founded Vancouver, BC, Canada (2008)
Headquarters 5 East 8th Avenue. Vancouver, V5T 1R6
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Ryan Holmes, Dario Meli, David Tedman
Key people Ryan Holmes (CEO)
Steve Johnson (CRO)
Ajai Seghal (CTO)[2]
Industry Internet
Employees Over 600[3]
Website hootsuite.com
Alexa rank 128[4]
Type of site Social media management, Social networking service
Registration Required
Users Over 10 million (September 2014)[5]
Available in Multilingual[6]
Launched December 2008; 9 years ago (2008-12)
Current status Active

Hootsuite is a social media management system for brand management 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, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr and Mixi.[7]

Additional integrations are available via Hootsuite’s App Directory, including Instagram, MailChimp, Reddit, Storify, Tumblr, Vimeo and YouTube.[8]

Based in Vancouver, Hootsuite has over 500 staff located in Vancouver, San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Singapore, and other countries. The company operates on a freemium model and has over 10 million users in more than 175 countries.[5]


In 2008, Holmes needed a tool to manage multiple social media networks at his digital services agency, Invoke Media.[9] 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.[10] The first iteration of this social media management system launched on November 28, 2008 in the form of a Twitter dashboard called BrightKit.[11]

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.[9] The launch of BrightKit met very positive reception, thanks to its clean interface and publishing capabilities.[12]

In February 2009, Holmes offered a $500 prize for renaming the platform, and used crowdsourced suggestions from the dashboard’s over 100,000 users as contest submissions.[13] The winning idea was Hootsuite, a moniker submitted by a user named Matt Nathan[14] 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 further support Facebook and LinkedIn, allowing the capability to use Twitter Lists.[15]

In December 2009, Hootsuite spun off from Invoke Media and launched as officially 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.[16]

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.[17][18] 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.[19]

In May 2012, Hootsuite subsequently raised US$50 million in a Series A funding round, following rumors.[20][21]

In July 2012, an employee informed Forbes magazine that the company's team consisted of 200 employees at that time.[22]

In September 2012, Hootsuite acquired Seesmic, a customer relationship management system and competitor. Hootsuite plans to transfer all current Seesmic users to Hootsuite.[23]

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 is looking to make at least two unnamed acquisitions, in addition to employing 100 overseas employees.[20]


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, PrintBindaas, the Obama administration, HBO, Martha Stewart Media, Virgin Group, SXSW, Panasonic, Zappos, The Gap and LHC.[24][25] Hootsuite provides a browser-based dashboard that allows users to keep updated on their Twitter account.[24] There are both full and lite versions of the service.[26] Hootsuite uses the URL shortener ow.ly to shorten URLs submitted to its service.[27]


The company behind the service is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and its chief executive officer is Ryan Holmes.[24] The company's business strategy allows users free basic service with payment for additional features.

The company plans to monetize 3 to 5 percent of the service's most active accounts, which are generally owned by major brands such as Conde Nast, AOL, Banana Republic, and Dell.

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.[28] 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.[24]

As of June 2010, the service manages over one million social media accounts for 400,000 unique users.[28]

In September 2014, Hootsuite's New Enterprise customers included Telekom Malaysia, Singapore Press Holdings, Brooklyn Public Library, Cambridge University Press, Red Carnation Hotelsand Hyland Software Inc.[29]


The Hootsuite software has won awards from Mashable at their Open Web Awards 2009,[30] the Canadian New Media Award,[31] the Shorty Awards,[32] and "Best Twitter app" from Australia's mX newspaper.[33] It was a 2012 nominee for the Webby Awards. [34]


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.[35] 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, which offers real-time web and social media monitoring,[36] in multiple languages,[37] and is designed to provide alerts on a desktop and smart devices.[38] Within financial services, companies like Gremln provide social media publishing tools that help companies meet strict compliance rules.

Other competition in this space include platform that appeal to niche segments, such as Oktopost, which provides a social media marketing platform designed for B2B social media[39] and content marketing. In the last year [2015] companies like Tiempy (https://tiempy.com) and Everypost <http://everypost.com> raised from Latin America to compete in the same market, bringing easy to understand tools that non-expert users can also take advantage of.

Hootsuite bought out Seesmic in September 2012.[40]

Further reading


  1. "Contact Us". Hootsuite. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  2. "Hootsuite Crunchbase Profile". "Crunchbase". Retrieved March 15, 2012. 
  3. "CAREERS-Build something big with us". Hootsuite. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  4. "Hootsuite Alexa Site Info". "Alexa". Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hootsuite Press Releases (4 September 2014). "Hootsuite Announces Acquisition of Brightkit, Continues Explosive Growth". Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  6. "Hootsuite Translations Project". Hootsuite. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  7. "Hootsuite - Engagement". Hootsuite. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  8. "Hootsuite - App Directory". Hootsuite. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Ivan Fernandes, MediaCom Global Director, Social Media Technology, interviews Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite". MediaCom. Retrieved March 21, 2012. Archived August 3, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "5 Tips for Startup Success From a Co-Founder of Hootsuite". Mashable. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  11. "BrightKit makes using multiple Twitter accounts easy". Vancouver Free Press, #whatsup. Retrieved March 21, 2012. Archived November 18, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. "BrightKit: The Shiniest Twitter Scheduler and Tracker Yet". Mashable. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  13. "What You Should Outsource to Amp Up Efficiency". eESI PeopleTalk. Retrieved March 21, 2012. Archived May 28, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  14. "BrightKit follower-sources new Hootsuite name". TechVibes. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  15. "Hootsuite Adds Support for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter Lists". Mashable. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  16. "Hootsuite Raises $1.9 Million for Social Media Dashboard". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  17. "Hootsuite Gets $20M from Canadian Pension Fund". AdAge. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  18. Ingrid Lunden (29 March 2012). "Confirmed: Canadian VC Firm OMERS Ventures Takes $20M Stake In Hootsuite At $200M Valuation". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  19. "Hootsuite cashes out through secondary markets". Reuters. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  20. 20.0 20.1 FRANCESCA LOUISE FENZI (1 August 2013). "Hootsuite: $165 Million Series B 'Takes the Pressure Off'". Inc.com. Inc.com. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  21. Ingrid Lunden (3 May 2013). "Hootsuite Is Raising $50M At A $500M Valuation". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  22. "Social Hiring Tools Used By Hyper Growth Companies: Pinterest, Tumblr, Hootsuite, Klout, Posterous, Bitly And Mashable". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  23. John Koetsier (5 September 2012). "Hootsuite acquires Seesmic and is transitioning those customers to HootSuite". VentureBeat. VentureBeat. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 "Keeping tabs on your brand". The National Post. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  25. "Hootsuite helps you manage your brand on Twitter (hey, it works for the White House)". VentureBeat. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  26. "140 Proof Powers Advertising for Hootsuite's Android and iPhone Apps". Press release. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  27. "Ow.ly and Ht.ly ~ Choose Bar or Non-bar URL Shortener for Hootsuite". Hootsuite. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Hootsuite explains revenue generation strategy". Business in Vancouver. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  29. Hootsuite Announces Acquisition of Brightkit, Continues Explosive Growth
  30. "Open Web Awards 2009: The Winners". Mashable. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  31. "HootSuite wins Canadian New Media Award and more". Invoke Media. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  32. "HootSuite wins best app at Shorty Awards". Hootsuite. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
  33. "Another historic win for Obama". MX (Australia). December 17, 2009.
  34. "HootSuite is a 2012 Webby Awards Nominee ~ Vote for Us". Hootsuite. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  35. "Hootsuite Competitors". CrunchBase. 
  36. Patel, Neil. (12 May 2015) http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/copywriting-tips-improve-conversions. HubSpot.
  37. Six tools to use to monitor mentions on blogs and social media. | Ananza NOTs عنانزه
  38. Resources | Marketing Shared
  39. Miles, Stephanie. "Oktopost Review – Sophisticated Social Media Marketing". GetApp. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  40. As Twitter Tightens Its Grip, Hootsuite Buys Seesmic

External links