Earlier this week, HootSuite announced that they will begin to charge for advanced features of the service, starting next week. The newly-introduced pricing plan provides a number of choices from a Freemium plan all the way through Platinum for $99.99/month.
Here’s the breakdown of the new pricing plans:
Here is some of what HootSuite had to say about the new pricing model:
Most of you will continue to use HootSuite in much the same way you do today. Additionally, power users and enterprises with teams can confidently rely on HootSuite for critical campaigns knowing there will be continuity of service from a stable company.
Impact for Regular Users
The free plan, which HootSuite anticipates will be appropriate for 95% of users, includes basic stats and analytics, five social network profiles and one RSS feed. The Bronze package for $4.99/month makes the jump to unlimited social networks and 10 RSS feeds.
It would appear that the Basic and Bronze packages will be more than enough for regular users who make HootSuite their tool of choice to manage all of their social networks and RSS feeds.
Impact for Power Users
If you’ve heard any grumblings about the new pricing model, it’s likely been from HootSuite power users who have made use of the team collaboration functions. This new pricing model takes away all of the team features for the Basic or Bronze plans and forces users to move to, at a minimum, the Silver plan that includes one team member for $19.99/mo.
The hardest hit goes to users who manage social media accounts for clients, for example, many virtual assistants. They currently have the team functions set up and running like a well-oiled machine, helping them manage all of the relevant social network profiles for their clients.
This introduction of the new pricing model will certainly require a change to how they are managing their accounts, and possibly require that they create a new account for each client. Or, as many have said, they may leave the service entirely.
What’s Your Take?
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of HootSuite as I’ve written a number of posts about it over the past year. Personally, I’m just fine with the Basic or Bronze account (depending on how I want to handle my RSS feeds), and I have no problem paying $5/month to use HootSuite.
While I think we need to get past the perspective that we’re entitled to get access to a multitude of online services for free (we pay for offline products and services that we find useful, online should be no different), I do see the point of team-based users who say it’s simply too expensive to pay $600 or even $1,200 per year to keep their accounts functioning as they currently are.
But, what’s your perspective as a HootSuite user? Will you move to a paid account? Are you considering leaving HootSuite for another service?