Yet another morning, and yet another piece of M&A news. Twitter informed me early today morning, that professional networking platform, Linkedin had acquired the professional content sharing platform, Slideshare for a consideration of $119 million.
As two very critical platforms in the world of Social Media, this news was of a lot of interest to us.
While there is the world of Facebook and Twitter out there, especially for the consumer space, the names to reckon with in the professional or B2B space, clearly have been LinkedIn and Slideshare. When we talk to any of our B2B clients, these are almost certainly the first two platforms that come up in conversation. And in that respect, this union of sorts, is heartening in many ways.
Why did LinkedIn acquire Slideshare? What are the synergies now? How will it impact users? Some of my thoughts shared here:
1. Why did LinkedIn acquire Slideshare? Well, I think, because “it simply could“! Post IPO, LinkedIn has a warchest of cash and an appetite for acceleration. And from the point of adding more value to it’s large target group of professionals, the addition of Slideshare makes the most sense.
2. The other critical reason is the whole content play that Slideshare brings in. LinkedIn has been extremely strong on professional people data. It also has extensions of interest like Groups and Company Pages and Q&A sections, but all of these are either company promotional content (company pages) or short term, transactional content (Groups and Answers). What LinkedIn sorely lacked was a large pool of archival and valuable content. And Slideshare as a content sharing platform fills that void perfectly.
3. This content play enables LinkedIn to offer that much more to it’s users. How they will integrate Slideshare content inside the LinkedIn platform, whether they will or not, are all questions for the future. Just having that pool of content, that is of high value to the target audience of LinkedIn, is a big plus, from a point of view of providing that additional value.
4. Then, think of the advertising opportunities that content throws up. So far LinkedIn offers some fabulous advertising options for targeting individuals, based on their professional status. So, for example, one can target mid-level HR professionals in large India IT corporates, via targeted advertising on LinkedIn, if one wanted to. And this targeting was absolutely brilliant. But now there is an additional opportunity that LinkedIn can offer to the same advertiser. That of offering targeted advertising to “those who come and read HR related content on Slideshare”. This make the advertising reach just so much more powerful.
5. A closer integration of Slideshare content on to LinkedIn and a deeper integration of LinkedIn on the Slideshare platform are no-brainers. This will help. There has always been a decent integration of Slideshare into LinkedIn. So one could integrate one’s slideshare decks, on one’s LinkedIn profile, for example. And some more. And now you could potentially integrate your LinkedIn profile access, or your LinkedIn company page link, next to your Slideshare deck, on Slideshare. So when someone sees and likes your content there, and wants to quickly contact you, or know more about your company, it is only a click away, right there. These moves will be interesting, quick to do, and should spell good value for both, Slideshare and LinkedIn users.
6. There will be some more benefits that I can see coming. A pro-account on LinkedIn or on Slideshare gave us some value so far. Now, there could be combination pro accounts that give you benefits across the two platforms together. Which again, is good stuff for the user.
These are some of the quick reactions I have, looking to a positive outcome, both for the two brands, as well as for the users of the two brands, going ahead. What I HOPE is that they do not make it tougher for the user. Like an increase in pro-account fees or more expensive advertising packages, etc.
From my side, I can state that I love both of these brands, and I hope this union of the two will make them even dearer..
Cheers to the brilliant M&A move!!
Slider image courtesy: webpronews.com
P.S: Article reproduced from the SocialWavelenth Blog.