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Stefanie Kir
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Microsoft Has Bought LinkedIn. What is Ahead for Digital Marketing?

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In a multi-billion dollar deal that changes the face of business communication, Microsoft has announced its acquisition of social network LinkedIn. For digital marketers, this deal means that a whole lot of new products are about to be introduced to the market.

It’s safe to say LinkedIn is excited about the decision. In his address to his staff after the acquisition was announced, Weiner noted that this is the network’s first big step towards positioning themselves as a powerful player, among the likes of Apple, Facebook and Google. Until now, LinkedIn’s capital has been waning at the network’s flaws have meant expansion has been hard. But, upon the acquisition, they’ll be able to tap into Microsoft’s power and develop in a way they haven’t dreamed of previously.

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There are digital marketing changes afoot

How we interpret the acquisition relies on how we define LinkedIn as a platform: predominantly, its power lies in content, as it provides users a perfect point in which to share their ideas. People turn to LinkedIn as an aggregator of business-related articles and communicate with their network in a series of posts. Beyond this, LinkedIn is also useful in human resources, particularly sourcing and hiring new employees.

On the whole, Microsoft’s products are pitched at corporate professionals and, since LinkedIn has positioned themselves in the same way, the takeover seems like a perfect match.

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LinkedIn now has access to Microsoft’s vast cohort of products, including Skype, Outlook, Calendar, Office, Windows, Cortana and Bing. Depending on how the two companies leverage their partnership, the new acquisition could mean big things for how they both do business.

By joining together, they’ll be able to more carefully identify gaps in the business market in all areas, spanning across productivity, communication, networking and beyond. Already the pair have their sights set on corporate directories, corporate news dissemination, and ways to distribute business intelligence, according to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

For digital marketing – and especially content production – the change could mean we’re about to access some exciting new products.

History of Microsoft’s take overs

It’s not Microsoft’s first attempt to acquire a social platform. Before pairing with workplace messaging service Yammer in 2012, the company had ill-fated encounters with Nokia and even Facebook, which did not go well. When Microsoft approached the social networking giant many years ago, Facebook was fierce in its desire to stay independent. Even so, it demonstrates just how powerful Microsoft’s desire to extend their devoted user base and branch out into the market of human capital.

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Introducing a new CEO in 2014 saw Microsoft evolve into a more flexible company, ready to adapt to a more modern era of technology. CEO Satya Nadella was able to completely turnaround the company and drive growth. Before his leadership, Microsoft was nowhere near as agile as it is now, nor did it have such a sense of purpose. Now, the company has a shared idea about where they’re heading and are able to develop tools to get there.

LinkedIn hopes that with the new acquisition, some of Microsoft’s sparkling new qualities will be transferred upon them.

LinkedIn will maintain their brand identity

The procurement doesn’t mean LinkedIn will just be swallowed into Microsoft’s culture; the company is adamant they’ll retain their independent streak and unique branding. To do this, they’ve opted to keep their own CEO on board and keep their employees’ job descriptions the same. In short, LinkedIn will, in essence, be the same as before – just with some new digital toys to play with.

While details about the products that will emerge from the acquisition have not been announced, we’re looking forward to hearing about the changes LinkedIn and Microsoft have in the works.

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By Stefanie Kir


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