LinkedIn announced the acquisition of the popular slide-sharing and hosting service SlideShare. With the substantial cash and stock power behind LinkedIn’s IPO, they have added to their momentum of expanding into additional productivity web tools.
SlideShare currently hosts 9 million presentations, with 29 million monthly unique visitors to its own site as well as traffic to embedded versions on more than 1.4 million domains. It has been available either as a stand-alone solution and also available as an integrated Application within LinkedIn itself. Many users, including me have used SlideShare to embed presentations into their LinkedIn Profile, viewable for all visitors to view.
Especially popular with sales and marketing members, SlideShare has been growing rapidly as a form of social network on it’s own, with the ability of those with paid accounts to measure the activity and viewer actions of each slide deck. They recently made the necessary conversion to HTML5 from Flash, removing the barrier for those with mobile devices to view all SlideShare content. They have also begun offering a convenient online meeting service called Zipcast. SlideShare has been a productive web tool to Sales and Marketing professionals that have taken advantage of the capabilities available.
What does this mean for SlideShare? Will it be fully integrated into the LinkedIn Profile structure? LinkedIn has made several other acquisitions since their initial public offering, including very productive web tools like CardMunch, Rapportive and Connected amongst others. Each has been extremely quiet since their acquisitions have been announced, leading me to wonder what their ultimate fate will be.
I hope that LinkedIn allows SlideShare and the others to continue their innovative web tool development, rather than smothering them with the weight of corporate inspection and governance. Congratulations to CEO Rashmi Sinha, CTO Jonathan Boutelle and the rest of the founding team for their win today. I hope to see you flourish in the future.