Hootsuite Clears User Milestone, Buys Brightkit to Augment Product Line

By Steve Anderson September 05, 2014

It's been a very important time for Hootsuite lately, as the social media campaign management platform not only made a major new acquisition, but it also achieved a substantial new milestone besides. Both of these together show a clear upward trend for Hootsuite, and the likelihood of plenty more increase to come.

First, the user milestone: the company reported that it has fully 10 million users in 175 different countries, a note that shows a user base that's both broad and deep. That alone would speak to Hootsuite's overall resiliency in the field, but it gets better from here as Hootsuite acquired Brightkit in a deal whose terms were undisclosed. While the terms were kept quiet, Hootsuite's plans for Brightkit were kept anything but; reports suggest that Hootsuite plans to put the Brightkit technology to work in a new platform known as Hootsuite Campaigns, a tool specifically designed for the enterprise user.

Hootsuite has kept quite busy, not only building its user base up but also in fundraising efforts; so far the company has brought in a reported total of $225 million with a total valuation of $800 million. Hootsuite has been actively putting that money into growth, however, not only with the Brightkit purchase but also with the acquisition of UberVu which took place back in January. Right now, the company can offer 13 different “gamified” features like sponsored contests for its users, as well as galleries and other social marketing tools all available from one central dashboard.

Hootsuite will be needing that augmentation in order to further monetize that growing user base. While many of its users are on the free tier, an increasing number of users are jumping to the pay services, including 744 companies found on the Fortune 1000 list. Recently, the company also announced new customers in its growing user base, including the Brooklyn Public Library, Cambridge University Press, and Red Carnation Hotels, among others.

The growth of a company like Hootsuite makes some sense; as advertising grows ever more pervasive, it's that much more likely to be disregarded and the money proven a waste. There are of course ways to counteract this: extremely careful targeting is one, and another is to make advertising that's very engaging to the general populace. Some have tried to do this through humor, and this often works except it has a tendency to produce the effect in which the viewer is so busy laughing that he or she forgets just who was advertising. But using gamification in advertising, that's a different matter. That forces the viewer to be both engaged and focused; failure on either front can result in failure in the game. When the viewer voluntarily engages at that point, that's an engaged viewer, and engaged viewers are just what advertisers want, showing that this particular marketing tactic has a lot of potential success.

Naturally, it's just potential success; several other factors weigh in on this concept and possibly limit its overall effectiveness. But any effort in that direction improves the likelihood of success in advertising, and that's likely to, in turn, draw more attention to Hootsuite over the long term.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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