LinkedIn has been in the news this week and the buzz is about the purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft. The cost of the purchase is a mere 26.2 billion. I do not know about you, but thinking about that much money makes my head like those Jet.com commercials- up in purple smoke!
Linked in reported earnings of $861 million for its first quarter. This deal is a win win for both companies. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Wiener will continue to run the company and report directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Natella. The real question is how deep of an integration will there be of Microsoft software tools.
As marketers, I know the real question becomes, how will this purchase affect those of us that market?
This acquisition now gives Microsoft and Bing Ads mobile, where it has been weak compared to Google. LinkedIn’s mobile activity opens doors for Microsoft that efforts like the Windows Phone and the advertising partnership that Yahoo failed to provide.
(In July 2009, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, suggested a deal where Yahoo gave up its search technology in exchange for listings and ads from Microsoft’s Bing search engine, with Yahoo gaining a big cut of any ad sales.
The “Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance” deal was formally signed in December 2009; it received all legal clearances needed in February 2010. It never performed as Yahoo expected, continually falling short of revenue promises.)
Microsoft has been upgrading and marketing its search engine Edge in competition with Google, meaning that it may now use LinkedIn’s powerful online presence and power in the social networking market to boost Edge’s popularity with influential leaders, along with its other products and services, like Skype.
When Google bought YouTube we saw more control over the video advertising and marketing space. Since Skype is owned by Microsoft, a question becomes will we see additional exposure via LinkedIn for brands that advertise on Skype’s messaging/call network. Will the Microsoft Office tools be integrated with LinkedIn, literally creating huge online Office?
LinkedIn become a “Facebook “
Will we see additional opportunities to sponsor virtual online corporate events hosted within LinkedIn. A dedicated Microsoft Office center within LinkedIn is another possibility.
Could we see an Intelligent News-feed as a new “daily habit” that will unify data for professionals to stay connected with the happening sin their network, industry and profession as one avenue for advertising.
I even saw an article on the net that said LinkedIn will become a Facebook except it will be for job seekers, Frankly, I hope not. I appreciate seeing a professional platform and the last thing I want to see is some cat gif on LinkedIn. (Don’t tell me job seekers will not do that, think about how some of them dress for job interviews)
Could we see LinkedIn/Microsoft combine their power and be preparing to widen their footstep in the search engine advertising space, thus challenging Google Ad Words?
Without a doubt, we will see more Microsoft advertisements and branded promotions within LinkedIn. Competing office tool brands will be taking a back seat in advertising or they will risk being dominated by their biggest competitor-Microsoft. Up to this point, we have not seen Microsoft make serious moves to compete in the search engine space, and this step will help cement their position in the online market.
We may see just a very simple acquisition by Microsoft of LinkedIn, or it could be a tactic with a wide strategy to start competition in the social and business networking market. We may see this reach expand into the wider market of search engine and network marketing business.
Whatever the case may be, this is a great time to be using LinkedIn. June 30 I will have three training classes with hand-outs available on my website to help you step into this space. Look for it under training.
What changes do you see coming with the Microsoft purchase of LinkedIn? Tell me below. I look forward to your comments.