Just Announced: Microsoft Buys LinkedIn

I woke up this morning and after the tragic events of this weekend.  When I started to read my morning blogs.I quickly discovered something big had happened in the world of social. Microsoft bought LinkedIn! It made me do a double take. I also was wondering if I was awake yet. As I read an article in Tech Crunch it became clear, what I was reading was reality. The merger has been approved by both boards. How this was kept quiet is quite the accomplishment.

The official Announcement:

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD) on Monday announced they 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, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash. LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support this transaction. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year. (LinkedIn)

What does this mean?

In the short term there will not be any changes or disruptions in services you have come to know. This is especially true if you are a free member. If you are paid member, it should stay the same and change over time. $2 billion out of the $3 billion they make a year comes from recruitment (Tech Crunch). This is a feather in the cap for Microsoft.

Its going to strengthen Microsoft in the world of B2B social. They have had to compete with services such as Slack, Trello, SalesForce and more. Slack has become one of the premier communication apps in the world of business. Trello is great for keeping track of projects. And SalesForce has a great rep for CMS. With this addition it will bring them up and have an ability to compete on a higher level.

One interesting thing will be the integration of Lynda.com. LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com last year and it is a service to teach people new skills. This was a great fit for LinkedIn. You could learn CSS, Project Management or more. Will it be included in Microsoft Office 365?

Only time will tell what changes will happen with LinkedIn. Hopefully we’ll hear more about merger soon!

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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