The largest business network on the Internet with more than 161 worldwide members, LinkedIn, has confirmed its agreement to purchase the professional content sharing community SlideShare for $119m (£74m).
SlideShare allows for the online creation and hosting of presentations, videos and PDFs, and having launched in 2006, now has 29 million unique monthly users. LinkedIn, meanwhile, can attribute its success to the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook, although whereas the latter focuses on connections between real and random ‘friends’, LinkedIn places the emphasis squarely on professional networking.
The result is that the site has become a key resource for ambitious professionals with an interest in making new business connections or acquiring new staff, with recruiters and service providers having also made use of the site to engage in transglobal headhunting and directly contact top CEOs with Internet marketing content.
Social Networking Site, LinkedIn announced on May 3 that the SlideShare purchase would cost it $119m in cash and stocks, with an approximately 45%/55% split. It added that the acquisition “perfectly” aligned with LinkedIn’s mission, with plans already afoot for SlideShare to be integrated into the network’s core site. LinkedIn stated that this integration would allow professionals to access tools enabling them to create and share work online, which would also make the site significantly more attractive to new users.
SlideShare and LinkedIn CEO Statements
Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s CEO, said that presentations played an instrumental role in shaping professional identity, being one of the main ways in which professionals captured and shared their knowledge and experience. He added that these professionals were able to increase their career productivity and success by using such presentations to discover connections and make new insights.
CEO at SlideShare, Rashmi Sinha, stated that SlideShare had been built so that professionals could “share presentations and connect people through content.” Describing the link-up with LinkedIn as “the most natural extension of this vision”, he expressed excitement “about what we can build together”.
In a blog post on the SlideShare website, Sinha elaborated further on the deal, saying that it had become “clear how great the fit is” between the companies as a result of past collaborations, including work on a LinkedIn developer platform. He also took the opportunity to reassure SlideShare users that their service would not “go away” as a result of the acquisition, as well as that he would continue to run the company.
It meant, he told users, that the site would “remain a place where you can continue to upload, share and find presentations that help you grow professionally,” adding that the LinkedIn relationship would allow the site to “grow faster” as the team continued to “develop new features and make the site even better.”