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?
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 playMinecraft, it’s reasonable to assume most adults in the US use LinkedIn for finding jobs, connecting with colleagues, or just general work-related networking.
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.
“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.”
MICROSOFT WANTS LINKEDIN PROFILES TO BECOME A CENTRAL IDENTITY IN THE WORKPLACE