LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD)’s expansion of search in the last months signaled their intent to focus on engagement with their hundreds of millions of users. Today’s purchase of the mobile news aggregation start-up Pulse shows their commitment to becoming a site that business people visit on a daily basis rather than when they are simply looking for a job.
The acquisition was expected, or at least called, by Kara Swisher last month in her reporting for AllThingsD. The deal, worth $90 million is comprised of 10% cash and 90% in LinkedIn’s stock.
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In what is beginning to sound more and more familiar, Pulse began as a Stanford University school project. Its co-founders Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta began their work in 2010 ultimately raising $9 million in funding from Greycroft, New Enterprise Associates, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel and others.
With over 30 million registered users, Pulse is presently seeing over 10 million stories being read each day on this platform for user preference derived content.
And again, it’s content that LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) is looking to boost engagement on its site.
“We believe LinkedIn can be the definitive professional publishing platform – where all professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content,” LinkedIn SVP of product and user experience Deep Nishar said in a company blog post confirming the Pulse acquisition. “Pulse is a perfect complement to this vision.”
I won’t go so far as to say that LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) has pulled off a coup, but Pulse has at various points in time been in discussions with Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).
Having recently introduced its “influencer” section, LinkedIn shows that engagement is its catch word for 2013. The “influencer” has asked prominent business leaders to create original think pieces for its 200 million members to read, comment on and share.
When Pulse and “influencer” are added to LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) Today, the company’s news aggregation service, you can see the heart of its content creation beginning to take shape.
It’s too early to comment on the price tag. That I will leave for my betters tomorrow or in the coming hours. But what immediately strikes me is the potential to take a bite out of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and others’ ad revenues both on the desktop in the mobile arena.