I had earlier brought the breaking news to you but not it’s confirmed. Microsoft and LinkedIn have entered “into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion/8tr Naira”. This was announced earlier today in a Microsoft news website where it was agreed that LinkedIn would retain its brand with the current CEO Jeff Weiner remaining the CEO at least for now. The software and cloud giant went on to give reasons why they were making this transaction;
- “19 percent growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide
- 9 percent growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month
- 49 percent growth YOY to 60 percent mobile usage
- 34 percent growth YOY to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views
- 101 percent growth YOY to more than 7 million active job listings”
Since Satya Nadella took over from Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft in February 2014, he has focused more on Cloud services and re-focused Microsoft’s “big” smartphone plans which has seen Microsoft stock rise steadily since 2014. Microsoft recently brought Planner to Office 365 users thereby making Office 365 a direct competitor of professional services like Trello. LinkedIn is known for its professional services like job postings and even research materials is the biggest professional social media service in the World with over 200 million registered users. LinkedIn even launched an app for students and has improved the app experience for all user which is something Microsoft says is one the qualities that attracted it to the platform. The students app was to streamline professional services to students who otherwise may not be able to compete with other professionals on the platform. It’s a new iOS and Android based app that allows students upload data and based on that they will be matched with jobs in their field. The app which requires that you have a LinkedIn account is designed to carve a niche for students who otherwise may feel they may not be able to connect and compete with other users on the LinkedIn platform. The app is not just for jobs but has a bit of mentoring and studies embedded.
What does this mean for LinkedIn users?
Like other big acquisitions like the Facebook-WhatsApp deal, nothing much changes with respect to how you use the newly acquired platform. It just means there’s a new owner and like I mentioned earlier, the core leadership of the company remains the same. You may soon start seeing Microsoft influence with respect to direct integration of Microsoft cloud services in LinkedIn which could eventually make the service more robust for LinkedIn users many of whom are professionals anyway an may be family with such services.
It hasn’t been all rosy for LinkedIn which recently revealed that it suffered a massive breach in 2012 with reports of user account details being sold on the dark web.