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LinkedIn Acquires Professional Content Sharing Platform Slideshare
LinkedIn Acquires Professional Content Sharing Platform Slideshare
By: Sneha Bokil-Paranjape

Social media is on a roll! After Facebook’s IPO, world’s largest professional social network, LinkedIn has gone on an acquisition spree. The California based company has bought SlideShare, a service for sharing presentations across the Web, for $118.75 million.

Positioned as a career oriented social network, LinkedIn’s move to buying Slideshare was noted post comScore figures which said Slideshare had nearly 29 million unique visitors last March.

“Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity," said LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner, in a statement. "These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn's mission and helping us deliver even more value for our members. We're very excited to welcome the SlideShare team to LinkedIn."

The deal was a result of a reported net income of $5 million on revenue that doubled to $188.5 million in the first three months of this year. That compared to a profit of $2.1 million on $93.9 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2011. 

Rashmi Sinha, CEO of SlideShare commented, “We built SlideShare to help professionals share presentations and connect people through content. What we can build with LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the Internet, is the most natural extension of this vision. I am excited about what we can build together.”

LinkedIn achieving new heights:

LinkedIn may not be where most individuals share their photos, check their newsfeed or share their daily status updates — but it is where businesses can flourish, connections are built that leads to networking! David Meerman Scott stated that LinkedIn’s conversion rate is now 2.60 per cent, less than what it was back in January, but this is far greater than its nearest rivals Twitter and Facebook, which has 0.67 per cent and 0.39 per cent respectively.

After hitting  $14 million Indian users mark recently, the company has also dived in the app market by creating a remarkable iPad app.

LinkedIn has been able to reach critical mass with English - unlike other markets such as China, where local language is the key to building a successful Internet business. That may explain why India is a larger market for LinkedIn than China, where it has barely a million members.

SlideShare’s journey:

Founded in 2006, SlideShare helps professionals discover people through content and vice versa. Content includes presentations, documents and videos.Based in San Francisco, the company has raised $3 million in funding from investors including Jonathan Abrams, Mark Cuban, Dave McClure and venture capital firm Venrock.

With 29mn users monthly, the company also has an office in New Delhi. Till date, SlideShare users have uploaded more than nine million presentations.

SlideShare also enables the sharing of presentations across the web – nearly 7.4 million presentations hosted by SlideShare are embedded across more than 1.4 million unique domains.

SlideShare has undergone some major changes in the past few months, building out a slick HTML5 version of its presentation app, and releasing ZipCast, which allows SlideShare presentations to become collaborative meeting platforms.

Impact of the acquisition:

Although it targets largest group of professional from across the globe, LinkedIn sorely lacked in terms of huge information and valuable content. And with this buyout of SlideShare, it has evolved as a complete winner. Now the users have more to absorb from the site besides mere connection to other professionals and introduction to news companies. LinkedIn will provide its users with additional value and enhance their presentation skills.