Corporate Eye

LinkedIn Acquires SlideShare

linkedin slideshareNews that LinkedIn acquired SlideShare for over $118 million broke this week (along with a SlideShare presentation explaining the news) — an acquisition that gives LinkedIn access to a lot of content created, shared, and discussed by its target audience of professionals. In March 2012, the SlideShare website received over 29 million unique visitors, which means it’s one of the most trafficked websites for professionals.

Over 7.4 million presentations have been uploaded to SlideShare since it debuted in 2005, and since then, those presentations have been embedded in over 1.4 million unique domains. All of that content represents opportunities for LinkedIn to connect with a larger audience and get access to valuable information about its users.

In a press release, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner explained, “Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity. These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn’s mission and helping us deliver even more value for our members. We’re very excited to welcome the SlideShare team to LinkedIn.”

Information is valuable these days, and the SlideShare acquisition certainly gives LinkedIn information. The acquisition represents what appears to be a turning point for the direction of LinkedIn as a company. Undoubtedly, the LinkedIn strategic direction goes far beyond the SlideShare acquisition. Simon Sharwood of The Register speculates, “The [acquisition] could mean ‘this is our cloud storage play’ or ‘our members were spending a fair bit of time using Google Docs and Office 365 and we wanted that time-on-site’.”

One thing is certain, what started out as a simple social networking destination for professionals might just be turning into something far more comprehensive. Let’s just hope that “something” really is useful.

Image: LinkedIn

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.