One Month Later: The Future of LinkedIn

By: Chloe Hodge | @chloekhodge

It has been over a month since Microsoft added LinkedIn to its professional network. On June 13, Microsoft announced that it would purchase professional networking site LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.

The purchase made history as Microsoft’s largest acquisition ever. The multi-billion dollar purchase drew criticism and skepticism from experts and analysts.

Three weeks later, those same experts are making predictions as what the future for LinkedIn will look like.

So, what exactly will Microsoft do with LinkedIn?

JD Gershbein is a Top Thought Leader on LinkedIn and writer for the Huffington Post. Since 2006, Gershbein has helped raise collective awareness about the professional social networking site.

In a recent article, Gershbein predicted that customer service for LinkedIn will certainly increase. Though LinkedIn typically does well with customer service, it is not immune to complaints from users, especially from users who pay extra for premium features and content. With Microsoft acquiring LinkedIn, there will be more ears to listen to customer concerns and complaints in real-time.

Social Media Delivered’s Vice President of Technology, Levi Sauerbrei, believes that Microsoft will try to incorporate video chat application Skype into LinkedIn. Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011. Sauerbrei believes that Microsoft may utilize Skype to do job interviews via video chat right through LinkedIn’s website.


Microsoft’s history with purchasing other companies

In its time, Microsoft has purchased more than 150 companies. Some deals worked out successfully, while others didn’t quite take off. Microsoft’s track record of successful acquisitions is mixed.

In 2008, former CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer attempted to purchase Yahoo Inc. for $48 billion. The transaction failed, as Yahoo felt the bid was too low. This may have been for the better, as Yahoo has struggled throughout the years.

In 2014, Microsoft made a costly purchase of Nokia Corp.’s handset business, which the company largely dismantled.

Although there is a mixed track record, Microsoft has a vision of how it will incorporate the two different businesses. Though LinkedIn and Microsoft operate differently, both cater to a predominately professional network.

According to a news release, LinkedIn will remain its own distinct brand and culture, with Jeff Weiner retaining his position as CEO. Weiner will report to Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella.

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