Ryan Holmes founded the social media management tool Hootsuite in 2008. Hootsuite, which has its headquarters in Vancouver, employs around 1,000 people throughout 13 cities, including Toronto, London, Paris, Sydney, Bucharest, Milan, Rome, and Mexico City. In more than 175 countries, the company has more than 16 million users.
In 2008, Holmes’ digital services company, Invoke Media, required a solution to handle numerous social media networks. When Holmes, Dario Meli, David Tedman, and the Invoke team discovered that there was no solution on the market with all the capabilities they were looking for, they made the decision to create their own platform that would be able to organise their numerous social media networks and profiles. The first version of this social media management platform, known as BrightKit, went live on November 28, 2008, as a Twitter dashboard.
Holmes decided that BrightKit could be the answer for other companies trying to organise their own social networks because he realised that many other people and organisations experiencing the same issues with managing various social accounts. Because of its straightforward interface and publishing features, BrightKit’s introduction received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response.
In February 2009, Holmes advertised a $500 reward for renaming the platform and accepted contest entries using crowdsourced ideas from the dashboard’s 100,000+ users. Hootsuite, a name suggested by user Matt Nathan and based on “Owly,” the dashboard’s owl mascot, was chosen as the winner because it plays on the French phrase “tout de suite,” which means “right now.”
Users of Hootsuite can monitor their Twitter account using a dashboard that is accessible through a web browser. The service’s provider is a Canadian business with headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia. Users can use its core services for free, with more options available for purchase.
Hootsuite has localised versions in 50 additional languages in addition to English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and German. As of June 2010, the service managed 400,000 distinct customers’ accounts on more than a million social media sites.