A few weeks after acquiring its competitor, Seesmic, HootSuite continues to expand its offerings with today's announcement that it has rolled out HootSuite Conversations. A real-time messaging service, Conversations lets users collaborate via internal conversations around social media messages.
"Our customers are excited that Conversations makes it easy to discuss strategies or responses to a message before it goes out, giving them more control over their brand and their social media campaigns," says Ben Watson, vice president of marketing at HootSuite.
Conversations is built on top of HootSuite's Teams product, which lets businesses divide their HootSuite account holders into different products or operational groups to better respond to interactions. The collaboration tool lets users import contacts from Google or Yahoo address books into its chat forum. Conversations is available in a beta version for all three tiers of HootSuite's 5-million user customer base - free, Pro, and Enterprise.
"HootSuite now empowers people to better identify subject matter experts, think out loud, develop shared listening, and build collective intelligence and memory," according to Jacob Morgan, principal of Chess Media Group and author of The Collaborative Organization. "This can be very powerful in inspiring employees and strengthening trust as well as identifying new opportunities and ideas."
In a blog post, HootSuite indicated it was buying Seesmic to put its "management tools into the hands of even more social media business users." Similar to Salesforce.com's Chatter messaging service, Conversations is HootSuite's latest move in its pursuit of enterprise users.
At the same time, Twitter has also indicated that it is focusing on business users. Last month the social network began introducing stricter guidelines for developers that access the Twitter API and is encouraging the development of applications that are designed for business engagement and business analytics.