Microsoft Has Swept Up LinkedIn - What You Need To Know and How Your Email Habits Could Be Affected?
Image Credit : Digital Eye Media
With a sense of trepidation, the office here at Dilate Digital is curious about Microsoft’s recent acquisition of LinkedIn- its largest to date, at over $26 billion. This isn’t exactly a new tactic of Microsoft; they attempted to purchase Facebook in its formative years, with the hopes of catching up to Google in online advertising- the customer database was ballooning, and the opportunity would have been just right had Zuckerberg accepted their offer. So, why LinkedIn, so many years later?
CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, has made it clear that he sees a seamless integration between the softwares and customer databases. LinkedIn, as a networking platform for professionals, will become intertwined with Microsoft services such as Outlook, Office, and Skype- all services which run the risk of slowing down as new companies snap at their heels.
CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, shared this email, which he sent to his employees:
“When Satya first proposed the idea of acquiring LinkedIn, he said it was absolutely essential that we had alignment on two things: Purpose and structure. On the former, it didn’t take long before the two of us realized we had virtually identical mission statements. For LinkedIn, it was to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, and for Microsoft it was to empower every individual and organization in the world to achieve more. Essentially, we’re both trying to do the same thing but coming at it from two different places: For LinkedIn, it’s the professional network, and for Microsoft, the professional cloud.
Both of us recognized that combining these assets would be unique and had the potential to unlock some enormous opportunities.”
LinkedIn Facts And Figures:
- LinkedIn hosts more than 433 million members, and gains 2 new members every second.
- More than 60% of its traffic is mobile.
- It reaches over 200 countries, with over 70% of it’s users outside of the US.
- There were 45 billion page views last quarter of 2016
Three Email Scenarios That Could Be Heading Our Way
1. Out With LinkedIn Messaging, in with Outlook 365
The current messaging abilities within LinkedIn are basic when compared to other networking counterparts, but this could change relatively soon- there are plenty of cues to hint that it could be overhauled and replaced with Outlook 365 functionality. This is further hinted at when we learnt that Microsoft is currently amalgamating its multiple email platforms, and into one combined email rendering machine- it’s likely that this would include the messaging abilities of LinkedIn. It’s predicted to be a huge step forward for the currently dismal messaging platform, and premium LinkedIn members are likely to find themselves incentivised with some of the more advanced Outlook options reserved for them. Currently Microsoft is searching for new ways to compete with Google, which dominates with their Gmail service, and this could be the perfect way to gain some ground.
2. Merging of Contacts and Phone books
With the average person now finding between 12 and 15 jobs in their lifetime, your directory of email addresses can quickly lose relevance. By merging this with your Outlook, the contact information of your LinkedIn connections will automatically be updated, when they amend their contact info and company affiliation. This might even help you create new connections, if Microsoft can suggest alternatives if your contact is now longer relevant, by assessing company names and titles.
3. LinkedIn To Your Skype and Calendar
Communicating within LinkedIn is looking to extend to Outlook and Skype, with users being able to initiate calls to and send messages across the platforms easily. By including the powerful functionality of the Calendar, users can schedule and action calls and invitations, all from within one medium.
What Else Can We Look Forward To?
For B2B email marketers, this new model of interactivity, communication, and multi-faceted networking could be a huge point of interest. Marketers should place a keen eye on their email rendering in Outlook365, and Outlook.com as the months pass, as these exciting developments could result in a huge market share growth of webmail clients, as well as upcoming support and rendering changes. This transition into professional social media will work cohesively with Microsoft’s largely untapped user data, and gives them a new stake in mobile, alongside efforts such as the Windows phone. With sponsored content driving a 29% increase in ad revenue year after year, LinkedIn reported $154.1 million for the first quarter of 2016 alone, and the blending of the two business-oriented platforms is bound to affect the digital landscape.
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