Who bought Linkedin? LinkedIn’s growth was a concern? LinkedIn is a business and employment-focused social media platform that works through websites and mobile apps. It was launched on May 5, 2003. Since December 2016, it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft. The platform is primarily used for professional networking and career development, and allows jobseekers to post their CVs and employers to post jobs. From 2015 most of the company’s revenue came from selling access to information about its members to recruiters and sales professionals. LinkedIn has more than 930 million registered members from over 200 countries and territories.
LinkedIn allows members (both workers and employers) to create profiles and connect with each other in an online social network which may represent real-world professional relationships. Members can invite anyone (whether an existing member or not) to become a connection. LinkedIn can also be used to organize offline events, join groups, write articles, publish job postings, post photos and videos, and more.
Who bought Linkedin?
Microsoft just surprised the world with its LinkedIn acquisition. Valued at $26.2 billion, it’s a huge price to pay for a social network, and it tops the charts as Microsoft’s biggest-ever acquisition. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first major acquisition, the success or failure of LinkedIn will define him as the leader of Microsoft’s increasingly service-driven future. While many are surprised at the cash figure, the question on everyone’s lips is, why does Microsoft want LinkedIn?
Nadella’s internal memo does a good job of providing a basic outline to partially answer that question, and more. Nadella points out that LinkedIn is “how people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done.” It’s a key tool in the professional work space, with 433 million members and more than 2 million paid subscribers. Microsoft itself has more than 1.2 billion Office users, but it has no social graph and has to rely on Facebook, LinkedIn, and others to provide that key connection.
LinkedIn provides Microsoft with immediate access to more than 433 million members and a solid social graph that, thanks to its professional nature, is matched closely with the software and services Microsoft provides. In the same way that most kids play Minecraft, it’s reasonable to assume most adults in the US use LinkedIn for finding jobs, connecting with colleagues, or just general work-related networking.
“This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete,” says Nadella. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.”
LinkedIn’s stock was struggling.
LinkedIn’s stock was down more than 43 percent since July of last year, and there wasn’t much reason to believe it would regain that value anytime soon. Clearly, Weiner and LinkedIn’s board agreed, starting talks just after its troubled February report in which the company had lowered its forecasts.
Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $196 a share, which is a very nice bump from its current price, although that’s still much lower than its high of nearly $270 back in early 2015.
Remember that heady time? Investors did, which was one of the issues.
LinkedIn’s ad business was slowing down.
While recruitment services are the big sales driver at LinkedIn, advertising represents roughly 18 percent of LinkedIn’s business, a significant segment that has been trending in the wrong direction. When LinkedIn reported Q4 earnings earlier in February, one of the concerns was that its ad business grew just 20 percent for the quarter year over year; that compared to growth of 56 percent in the same quarter the year before. Research firm eMarketer predicted LinkedIn’s U.S. digital ad revenue would fall from 35 percent growth in 2015 to less than 10 percent growth this year.
In other words, LinkedIn wasn’t selling ads the way people expected it to. And joining forces with Microsoft might help, since LinkedIn may now be able to sell ads alongside Microsoft Office’s suite of products that reach a lot more people than LinkedIn’s current user base. Or, at the very least, Microsoft may be able to drive more users to LinkedIn, giving the company more eyeballs to entice marketers.
LinkedIn’s growth was a concern.
LinkedIn didn’t grow much in 2015 and it was a problem for investors that are used to more from the well-liked Weiner. The company continued to add more members, or people with LinkedIn profiles, but the number of unique visitors didn’t grow from Q1 to Q2 and then again from Q3 to Q4. The people who were visiting in Q4 were also looking at fewer pages on the site (see the ad issues mentioned above).
LinkedIn’s growth rebounded at the beginning of 2016, but as we’ve learned from Twitter, growth problems tend to stick around and are harder to fix going forward. If claims by Weiner and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella bear out, the deal should be able to help grow LinkedIn’s audience through a combination of integrations with Microsoft Office and a possible subscription tie-up.
Now We Know Why Microsoft Bought LinkedIn;
Six months after Microsoft announced plans to pay more than $26 billion for LinkedIn, we now know even more about why the career-focused social networking site was so valuable. Today, Microsoft revealed that LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman has joined its board. It’s impossible to overestimate the significance of this move for Microsoft.
CEO Satya Nadella is three years into a turnaround that few people believed possible. When he was promoted to CEO in February 2014, Microsoft was in a bad place. Six months earlier, the company had posted its first-ever quarterly loss. Steve Ballmer announced he would step down, but before leaving, he pushed through the acquisition of Nokia. It was a costly mistake. Microsoft ended up paying $7.9 billion for the Finnish cellphone maker, according to an April 2015 SEC filing; the company wrote off nearly the entire sum in the final quarter of 2015.
Microsoft’s chief problem was this: Though the Redmond-ites made a lot of money, the company’s core business was declining, a dynamic that was set in motion more than a decade ago, when nearly every enterprise owned and ran Windows-powered PCs and servers. Microsoft had parked itself in the middle of Innovator Dilemma-land. The company had little incentive to invest in future businesses that might disrupt the business it was already in.
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