Microsoft has announced they plan on buying LinkedIn, the professional social media networking site, for an estimated $26.2bn (£18bn). It’s a big deal for both companies. It will be by far the largest acquision Microsoft has ever made, even after they bought Nokia for $7.2bn and Skype for $8.5bn.
In the short term, as part of the deal agreement Jeff Weiner will remain the CEO of LinkedIn. Satya Nadella the Microsoft CEO, commented that both companies came to an agreement in a short and amicable space of time. The price was set at $196 per share, with a $725m breakup payment being part of the deal.
LinkedIn is considered the professional choice of social networking site. There are some 400 million members of the network, and on average around 7 million active job listings are featured. Despite the fact that the site has almost halved in value over the course of the last year Microsoft are confident that the activity figures mean long term success is sustainable.
Microsoft have made it clear that they believe the future of LinkedIn is in the development and promotion of the mobile app. Business professionals are increasingly using devices such as smartphones and tablets to access web and messenger services on an exclusive basis. With this in mind, if LinkedIn really is to meet the potential Microsoft believes it will then it must be at the forefront of mobile app capabilities.
To this end the current LinkedIn app has recently been updated and the new version has met with generally positive reviews. Satya Nadella commented that integration of the app with software offerings such as Office 365 and Dynamics was on the horizon for future updates.
People with LinkedIn profiles will not be affected in the short term, with services running exactly as they have come to know them. In the long term, considering the size of the investment it is highly unlikely that Microsoft is going to make changes that would have a negative impact on use. Overall, the coming together of the leading business social media network and the leading business software supplier is something many anticipate being of benefit to end user professionals.