HootSuite buys TwitterBar

The CEO of Vancouver startup HootSuite told Business in Vancouver April 6 that he had acquired Minnesota’s TwitterBar for an undisclosed amount.

“It’s a good alignment with our product,” said 36-year-old Ryan Holmes, who created HootSuite 26 months ago. “They have a large 1.9-million-user base that we feel we can convert into paid users.”

About 98% of the 1.5 million people who use Holmes’ software, which enables users to post micro-blog messages on the social networking site Twitter, do not pay anything.

He launched a paid version of his application in November and his fast-growing, 48-employee company now rakes in more than $500,000 per month in revenue.

“We’re absolutely hiring,” Holmes said.

TwitterBar has 1.9 million users and enables users to post messages on Twitter. Its developer, Christopher Finke, will not move to Vancouver but will stay involved with the product as a consultant.

The difference between the two applications is that TwitterBar attaches to a user’s Firefox 4 browser and makes it faster for users to tweet a message and add a link to the website that they are visiting.

HootSuite’s niche, to date, has been to give users more functionality.

Paid editions of HootSuite also allow users to track how many people have clicked their posted links on Twitter, what countries they live in and which websites referred them.

gkorstrom@biv.com