Hootsuite Buys Brightkit For Gamefied Social Marketing Campaigns, Passes 10M Users

Hootsuite, a platform for businesses and individuals to manage social media campaigns across different networks that now has 10 million users in 175 countries, has made another acquisition to build out its platform. It has acquired BrightKit, a service that lets people customize social marketing campaigns with gamified elements like sweepstakes and other competitions.

The terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but Hootsuite is wasting no time between announcing the buy and integrating it: today the company (both are based in Vancouver) is also launching a new feature for enterprises called Hootsuite Campaigns, built on Brightkit’s technology.

Hootsuite has to date raised some $225 million in funding, including a $165 million round last year and $35 million more this month at an $800 million valuation, and it has been investing that money in growth. That has also included the acquisition of UberVu in January of this year to add more social analytics to its platform.

The acquisition is a coming home of sorts for Brightkit: the company was spun out of Invoke (originally under the name Memelabs). Invoke is the same company that originally created Hootsuite. The two had also been working together prior to the acquisition: Brightkit was added to Hootsuite’s app directory in 2013.

The idea here for Hootsuite is to continue to add more enterprise and premium features to its platform, as a route to better monetising its users.

While Hootsuite still has a large number of customers who use its free tier, it works with both small businesses and large enterprises — including 744 Fortune 1,000 companies, it says — and is gradually enticing more of these to pay to use the service. New customers being announced today include Telekom Malaysia, Singapore Press Holdings, Brooklyn Public Library, Cambridge University Press, Red Carnation Hotels, and Hyland Software Inc.

We are reaching out to the company to see if it can disclose what kind of revenues it’s making, or how many users have swapped over to paid tiers, and will update if we learn more.

Right now, Hootsuite offers three tiers of service: a free option, a “pro” option that is $9.99 per month per user, and an “enterprise” tier priced on an individual basis.

“Organizations are looking for new and exciting ways to engage their audience,” says Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, in a statement. “Hootsuite Campaigns extends our social marketing capabilities, allowing businesses to reach new audiences through engaging contests, sweepstakes and galleries, all managed from their Hootsuite dashboard.”

The service includes the ability to integrate 13 different kinds of “gamified” features like social contests, sweepstakes, and galleries, and lets the campaigns be embedded in microsites, Facebook and other places.