LinkedIn wants to overtake Twitter and Facebook as executives’ social news service of choice. On Monday the business-orientated social network added to its news arsenal, acquiring people-centric news aggregator Newsle to bolster its burgeoning media business.
A LinkedIn spokesman declined to comment on financial terms of the deal but he confirmed that the company will combine Newsle’s technology with LinkedIn’s own products and services.LinkedIn also plans to continue to allow people to connect their Facebook accounts with Newsle.
The deal comes 15 months after LinkedIn bought Flipboard rival Pulse for $90 million, and stands to supplement that acquisition and strengthen LinkedIn’s own news feed.
Newsle crawls a person’s list of LinkedIn, Facebook and email contacts and surfaces articles mentioning those people. The three-year-old service claims two million users.
“LinkedIn and Newsle share a common goal: We both want to provide professional insights that make you better at what you do,” LinkedIn’s head of content products Ryan Roslansky wrote in a company blog post announcing the acquisition. “For example, knowing more about the people in your network – like when they’re mentioned in the news – can surface relevant insights that help you hit your next meeting with them out of the park.”
Roslansky didn’t specify how LinkedIn will tie Newsle into the social network’s products, but there are a couple obvious possibilities. Newsle could bolster LinkedIn’s news feed by adding articles about connections to existing content such as those connections’ status updates or job changes. It could do the same for Pulse. However, LinkedIn said Newsle will remain a standalone service for now.
Newsle co-founders Axel Hansen and Jonah Varon will report to separate former Pulse execs who now work on LinkedIn’s content business. Hansen will report to Engineering Manager Greg Bayer, who oversees content distribution and held a similar post at Pulse. And Varon will report to Senior Product Manager Akshay Kothari, who had co-founded Pulse and now works on content products at LinkedIn.
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