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Seesmic CEO Hands the Reigns Over to HootSuite

Aren’t these two of the cutest animal logos you’ve ever seen? Two nocturnal animals with big giant eyes — can it be a coincidence that they belong to two big players in the social media management biz? Well, say good-bye to that adorable raccoon, he’s on his way out now that HootSuite has snapped up the mascot’s owner Seesmic.

The buyout agreement between HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes and Seesmic Founder Loïc Le Meur sounds more like a mercy takeover than a strategic business decision. The two men have been friends for awhile, but as HootSuite grew, finally gaining a badge of honor from Twitter, Seesmic faded. Earlier this year, Seesmic laid off more than half of the staff, now, with Twitter’s new rules for data users, it was only a matter of time before they lost it all.

Enter HootSuite, swooping in to save the day — sort of. Holmes has been very clear that all he wants out of the merger is Seesmic business customers. He also states that they’ll be hanging on the SanFran office space (HootSuite is based in Canada), but it doesn’t sound like they’ll be keeping many of the employees. Makes sense, since the technology behind Seesmic is slowly going to crawl away and die.

As for the Seesmic users;

“The pure consumer users, we’ll be directing them toward Twitter and Facebook’s” original websites and apps

The business customers will be transitioned over to the HootSuite platform. Though HootSuite does handle thousands of non-paying, consumer accounts, that’s obviously not their focus.

I’m a HootSuite user and I’ve been pleased by the features they’ve added in the past few months. It’s a handy tool that I use on a daily basis. I don’t foresee this merger causing anything to change on this end, except that it may force HootSuite to get more aggressive about converting non-paying accounts to paid ones. That’s okay. They’re supposed to make money.

With Twitter clamping down on third-party users, it’s likely we’ll see more businesses merging and closing. Is this good for Twitter’s bottom line? Time will tell.

So long Seesmic Raccoon, we hardly knew ya.