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Will LinkedIn end up like Skype after the Microsoft buy-out?

Will LinkedIn end up like Skype after the Microsoft buy-out?


That was David Parker’s reaction when he first heard that Microsoft bought LinkedIn. Having had bad experiences with Skype after Microsoft bought it over in 2012, David was concerned that Microsoft would screw up with LinkedIn, too.

“After Skype was bought over, Microsoft took away functionality that was free, and as it is, LinkedIn has already found new ways to make you pay. Microsoft might accelerate that – plus just like [Windows] 10, I might get bugged to update LinkedIn all the time,” David, who is also the founder of card and payment consulting firm Polymath Consulting UK, explained.

Besides fears that Microsoft will start charging users for previously free LinkedIn services, the expert-level LinkedIn users that we talked to also were concerned if Microsoft would actually integrate Microsoft and LinkedIn applications, such as – something that Microsoft said it would do in its buy-out proposal to LinkedIn.

As such, Microsoft’s buy-out is shrouded with skepticism from its users. Hansi Mehrotra, the founder of Money Management India, a financial services portal, didn’t like all the speculation surrounding it.

“Perhaps Microsoft can use its capital to improve LinkedIn, but at this point, we don’t really know what will happen. I find it amusing that so many people analyse the deal without knowing what the plans are.”

Hansi’s sentiments are echoed by Aiza Azreen Ahmad, a former banker currently pursuing post-grad qualification in Islamic Finance. Aiza isn’t sure how things would pan out: “I always equate Microsoft to platforms rather than a player in the social media space.

“Although this buy-out will definitely boost Microsoft and LinkedIn’s branding efforts, the actual return of investment (ROI) that they set out is just an estimation. Let’s wait a year and see what happens.”

All that being said, LinkedIn still has its fervent supporters. Eric Sim, a prolific LinkedIn blogger from Hong Kong with 70,000 followers, is very optimistic about the buy-out.

“Microsoft can build in LinkedIn functionality into Microsoft Office. You can create a CV in Word with data extracted from LinkedIn. With this, we might gradually do away with CVs and name cards! I’m very excited and confident that this would work out.”

With Microsoft’s hefty support, can LinkedIn be the go-to professional social media channel to rule them all? Or, would the professional social media landscape splinter into specific interest groups with alternatives like Behance and BranchOut?

We’ll be watching this space closely while we work with our clients on their social media strategy and content.

We would like to thank David, Hansi, Aiza and Eric for their valuable input.

Tags: LinkedIn

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