HootSuite, the social media management system, has acquired Seesmic, who were innovators in mobile, desktop and web applications for social media, for an undisclosed amount.
Seesmic chief executive Loic Le Meur had to lay off half of his staff back in March, and this buyout from HootSuite is partially a talent acquisition for the remaining roster. Users of Seesmic software will be slowly ported over to HootSuite, who say that this buyout will “further reinforce HootSuite’s position in the upper left quadrant of the Twitter Partner graph”.
I have fond memories of Seesmic’s Desktop application, which was my first favourite Twitter client. It was, in my opinion, much better than the significantly more popular TweetDeck, and I stuck by Seesmic and sung their praises on this blog (back in the Twittercism days) to whomever would listen.
Then, back in January 2010, they delivered a major update to the Desktop application which, quite frankly, I loathed. And that, as they say, was that. I moved over to HootSuite and never looked back. Loyalty is fleeting at the best of times in the crazy world of technology, especially software, and it’s a risk all developers are well aware of when they move into a new direction.
And that was really Seesmic’s problem as a company – they couldn’t find anything that would really appeal to a wide userbase, and so they kept on changing direction and, more than once, basically started over. People hate change, as we know, but that’s because half the time they have no idea what they want until you show it to them. What people really hate is something that keeps on changing. Then it seems like you have no idea what they want. And that’s a problem, and it’s one that Seesmic couldn’t seem to overcome.
Nobody is perfect, and HootSuite has dropped the ball a couple of times, too. Thankfully, they’ve picked it right back up, but it only takes a few misfires for people to move on. And when your userbase is as big as HootSuite’s, that’s something you always need to be watching really closely.
For his part, Le Meur has some nice words for CEO Ryan Holmes and the HootSuite team.
“We’ve always been big fans of Ryan Holmes and the HootSuite team, since the days we were all pioneering the Social Media landscape,” says Le Meur. “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.”
Are you a Seesmic user? How do you feel about this acquisition? Hit the comments to let us know.