Microsoft acquired the professional social networking portal LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. Three years ago, Microsoft bought Nokia Company for $7.9 billion. The acquisition was an attempt to foray into the mobile phone market which was dominated by the Apple and Android. However, the deal did not work in the favor of the software technology giant resulting in laying off of about 80% of the Nokia’s employees.
Acquiring the LinkedIn is a very bold move by the CEO Satya Nadella to revitalize the competitive position of the Microsoft, considering the fiasco after the Nokia deal. Microsoft can now embed LinkedIn with Skype, Microsoft Office, Outlook mail and several other enterprise products. The deal can be seen as the coming together of a professional cloud of Microsoft and a professional network of LinkedIn. In this age of digital connections, the deal appears to be a smart move.
It is unfair to look at the LinkedIn only as a social network enterprise for someone who is looking for a job. Agreed that LinkedIn has been the go-to site for recruiters, freelancers and also for marketing executives to fish out the contacts of their potential customers but calling it merely a job portal is ridiculously naive.
To begin with, the revenue of the company in 2015 is about $2.9 billion which is 35% more than its revenue in 2014. LinkedIn is a content company. The value of the company is its content. LinkedIn has more than 400 million users, with US users having the largest share. Every month, the site has 100 million new visitors. From India, the social networking portal has over 30 million users. In 2016, the site has over 45 billion visitors compared to 37 billion in the previous quarter. There are over 1.2 billion people who are the users of Microsoft’s office programs and outlook mail. We can expect a possible integration of LinkedIn into the Microsoft products.
LinkedIn is a social networking site that has the most influential, largely read, regularly updated, often referred, user-centric content. LinkedIn is a content marketing company. The company largely derives its value from its content. What LinkedIn has to offer is the training tools through Lynda, recruitment technology and addition to that the big data about the companies and the individuals. LinkedIn is likely to provide the bolster that Microsoft needs against the formidable competitors in the enterprise market.