The much-adored social media management platform HootSuite made clear how it intends to make money yesterday when it announced that the service is moving to a freemium model.
The company says that 95% of its current user base can likely continue to use the basic free account, but many small and medium-sized businesses and organizations will need to upgrade to one of four pro accounts ($5-100 per month) to continue using some of their favorite features like multiple team members and the ability to manage more than five social networks.
Other perks of the pro accounts include an ad-free UI, prioritized support response time, enhanced stats (including Google Analytics integration) and vanity short URLs.
HootSuite also offers an Enterprise account for a whopping $1499/month, which includes everything that the pro account has, plus follower insights, top-notch enterprise support and VIP staff training.
While the pro accounts are a fraction of the cost of the Enterprise account, this change could represent an added cost of up to $1,200 per year, which may or may not be worth it for smaller organizations, especially those for whom social media does not bring in a substantial amount of business.
What do you think? How much would you pay to use a powerful social media manager like HootSuite? Leave your thoughts in the comments.