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Why did Microsoft buy LinkedIn?

James Henderson | June 15, 2016
Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn is an acquisition of professional convenience.

Weiner said LinkedIn currently has 105 million monthly actives taken from its worldwide pool of members, with such year-over-year growth rate reflecting an acceleration not only in mobile but desktop as well.

“It’s a byproduct of the recent investment we made in a re-imagination of our mobile application,” Weiner explained. “You can see the carryover effect in terms of the growing engagement in the section below that.

“Mobile now accounts for about 60 percent of our traffic, and we continue to expect that to grow. And talent solutions comprises roughly two-thirds of our overall business.”

Furthermore, Weiner said 2015 was up 41 percent year over year, with sponsored content within its marketing solutions line continuing to be the fastest growing business at scale.

Connecting the professional world

By the numbers, Microsoft has over 1.2 billion users of Office, now over 300 million active devices running Windows 10, 70 million monthly active users of Office 365 and eight million paid Dynamics seats.

In comparison, LinkedIn taps into a pool of 433 million members, of which 105 million are active monthly and two million are paid subscribers, accessing over seven million active job listings, nine million company pages and over 50,000 university pages.

For Nadella, by connecting the professional Cloud and network of both Microsoft and LinkedIn, the combined entity has the potential to accelerate the realisation of the global economy.

“What we have at Microsoft today is what we refer to as the Microsoft Graph, where people and their relationships, their calendars, their work artifacts, their projects, as well as what’s inside of business systems, whether it be leads and prospectives, all of that is connected as one information graph,” he said.

“And, of course, LinkedIn has a similar graph. It is about the professional network. It’s about you, your job history, your skills, the people you know in your profession.

“And if you connect these two graphs, that’s when the magic starts to happen in terms of how digital work gets completed. We really can transform the life of professionals in terms of completing it.”


When merging Microsoft’s corporate graph with LinkedIn’s professional graph, Weiner said the end result is a digital mapping of the global economy, which envisions a profile on LinkedIn for every one of the three billion members of the global workforce, a digital representation for every company in the world, somewhere on the order of between 60 and 70 million companies, when including small and medium sized businesses.

“A digital representation for every one of the job availabilities made possible by those companies, on the order of 20 million-plus,” Weiner explained.

“Digital reflection representation of every skill required to obtain those jobs, and through our Lynda acquisition the coursework to make that possible, a digital profile for every university or higher-education organisation, vocational training facility that enables people to acquire the skills they need to get the jobs offered by those companies.


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