Digital Media

Hootsuite faces internal, customer discontent amid challenges to its core business

Hootsuite employees work at the company's main sales office in Vancouver, British Columbia. FILE. December 15, 2016. Glassdoor.
Hootsuite employees work at the company's main sales office in Vancouver, British Columbia. FILE. December 15, 2016. Hootsuite/Glassdoor
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Hootsuite, one of the world’s most successful social media management platforms, is at an existential crossroads after being reined in by the very companies that made it a success.

The difficulties began last fall when Twitter, looking to shore up its revenue streams, reportedly asked Hootsuite to pay as much as 10 times what it previously charged for access to its enterprise application programming interface (API). Problems continued this spring when Facebook cut third parties, including Hootsuite, off from key features of its API in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

In addition, at least eight senior managers left Hootsuite between April 2017 and April 2018.

The changes have left employees questioning the future direction of the company, some longtime customers disgruntled with what they consider a product in decline, and have likely put a long-rumoured IPO—floated as an option as recently as January by CEO Ryan Holmes—on hold.

Hootsuite, which is reportedly worth about US$750 million, downplayed the impact of the changes, saying it believes recent API modifications by Twitter “ultimately improve the customer experience,” and that those by Facebook “do not impact the vast majority of our business customers.

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