Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Aiming to Grow Its Business User Base, HootSuite Acquires Seesmic

HootSuite, the company behind the business-oriented social media management service, just announced that it has acquired Seesmic, the company perhaps better known for its colorful French founder, Loïc Le Meur, than for its often-changing stable of social media tools.

Financial terms aren’t being disclosed, but the deal appears to be more about Seesmic’s user base than its products. In a blog post HootSuite says it will continue to support Seesmic, while transitioning its business users to HootSuite’s services. HootSuite has three tiers of service, including an industrial-strength enterprise tier. It has about five million users around the world, who send about 1.5 million messages a day to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, among others. Its customers include McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Sony Music.

Seesmic, if I remember correctly, started out as sort of a video-blogging service back in 2007. In 2009, it shifted away from video and toward Twitter. It created a social media dashboard that’s very much like Twitter’s Tweetdeck, and then expanded into a series of social media apps for mobile devices. In early 2010, it acquired, and turned that service into Seesmic Ping, a mobile app for posting and scheduling messages to a myriad of social media networks.

Le Meur has always been a bit of a colorful character on Twitter and all the other social networks. “I have always had a lot of respect for Seesmic’s CEO, Loïc Le Meur and the role Seesmic has played in advancing social business,” HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes said in a statement.

However, Seesmic had showed signs of stagnating recently. In March, it laid off about half its staff. At the time, Seesmic had been aiming to build some enterprise-grade social media tools, and had gotten a $4 million funding boost from and SoftBank to do just that. TechCrunch reported yesterday that the companies were close to announcing a deal.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik