Can I buy LinkedIn stock? Anyone looking for a new career in the last decade found themselves on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social network where job seekers and employers meet. Eventually, it evolved into a place where employers, employees and job seekers can post about various work accomplishments, articles and philosophical debates. One company saw LinkedIn’s potential and jumped on it. The website was public and trading on the NYSE until 2016 when Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) bought LinkedIn. It isn’t the only tech giant to acquire a social media company. More on that below. Let’s also find out more about the Microsoft transaction and LinkedIn’s private competitors.
What Is LinkedIn?
To begin with, LinkedIn was founded in the US in 2002. Its main purpose was for professional networking and career development. It was the biggest company in its field.
The company connected job seekers with potential employers. Over the years, it became a social network like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Users have a profile and showcase it. It is possible to connect with friends and send messages to connections. However, users don’t post about their favorite banana bread recipe or their summer holidays in Europe.
Instead, it’s to promote our business and professional skills, to find a new career or for a well-deserved promotion. Basically we’re the LinkedIn stock for employers.
LinkedIn Stock of Features
LinkedIn has a free and a premium version. The latter is available as a 1month free trial. It’s especially useful for job seekers and employers. What are the free features?
Homepage: LinkedIn’s home page is very similar to your Facebook news feed. Like, comment and share your connection’s posts.
Job Search: Looking for a job or an employee? Startup or multinational billion-dollar company, find one in your area or miles away. IT, sales, consultant or engineer. There is an opportunity for everyone.
As mentioned, there are also exciting premium features.
Professional Development Classes: Brush up on your excel or interpersonal skills? LinkedIn Premium got you covered. You can even earn a mastery badge to show off to your potential employers.
Insights: Who is visiting your profile? Who is the perfect candidate for this job posting? Finding specific leads is easy with LinkedIn Premium.
Messaging: Message your friends and ask them about their day. What about people not in your network? This is where the Premium features come in. The perfect company is right there, but the hiring manager isn’t in your network. Message them directly with this feature.
All these aspects seemed perfect for Microsoft to buy the business. But why?
Why Did Microsoft Buy LinkedIn?
In 2016, Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2B. Prior to Microsoft’s offer, LinkedIn was trading at $131 per share. So you could have traded LinkedIn stock.
The tech giant proposed to buy the company for $196 per share. On its last trading day, LinkedIn finished at $195.96.
However, it was nowhere near its 2016 all-time high price and close to its 2011 IPO price. The stock began sliding due to slower than anticipated growth and soft quarterly results.
Many investors didn’t see the value anymore and wanted more growth. On the other hand, Microsoft saw a long-term opportunity.
A few quarters ago, Microsoft posted its first quarterly loss in an eternity. It lacked direction and innovation. Satya Nadella, the new CEO, wanted to expand the cloud business and diversify from the core business. Thankfully, one of LinkedIn’s founders, Reid Hoffman, was a seasoned expert in Silicon Valley. After the deal, he joined Microsoft’s board.
The deal turned out to be very fortuitous for all the parties involved. LinkedIn is still growing and innovating. Microsoft successfully began diversifying and added a key member of the tech industry to its board.
The company also added millions of daily users, regardless of the Apple vs Mac debate. LinkedIn does have competitors. Will they be lucky enough to be acquired by a tech giant as well?
LinkedIn Stock of Private Competitors
When it comes to taking LinkedIn stock of their competitors, there are a few. You may not be able to trade these companies, but if you’re looking for a job you have some options.
LinkedIn Stock of AngelList
AngelList has many similarities to LinkedIn. It offers a platform for job seekers and employers to connect. However, AngelList is targeting remote jobs for startups and tech firms. It’s still a private company.
To date, it made over 6M matches across 130,000 tech jobs. More and more jobs offer the opportunity to work from home or remotely. AngelList is seizing this market.
A few more things! They recently launched new products for their target market. Tech companies and startups often need support for end-to-end incorporation, business banking, equity grants and management.
AngelList can now support its 5M users even more efficiently. They can become a very attractive IPO in the next years or a takeover target. Keep an eye on them.
Sumry’s business is very simple. You provide your details, skills and references. Next, your network can legitimize your profile. Finally, Sumry will create a personalized PDF resume and a professional website.
Did you take a gap year? Show your employers how you stayed busy. At the moment, there is a promotion for a yearly fee of $79 and a 7-day free trial.
It is unlikely that Sumry ever goes public unless they diversify its model. However, their services are very professional and can add an extra edge to any career path that isn’t too square. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get incorporated into LinkedIn or AngelList.
There are many other local, domestic and international websites that connect job seekers to employers. They are quite common. The main challenge is standing out. Over the years, many tech companies bought social media companies in different fields.
Big Tech and Social Media
Just like for Microsoft, it allowed tech companies to add new customers to their databases and diversify their revenue streams. The Biden administration is cracking down on big tech to limit their reach in social circles.
Some of the deals made in the previous years, might not pass today or in the future. Let’s look at a few examples of big tech buying social media companies like Microsoft bought LinkedIn stock.
Google and YouTube
The biggest steal belongs to Google. In 2006, YouTube was still unprofitable and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was only 8 years old.
They struck a deal for $1.65B. In 2021 alone, YouTube generated over $28B in revenues. That’s more than Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX). YouTube is the biggest video platform.
Uncountable videos are watched, shared and commented on every second. A 10-minute video has probably the same amount of ads. Seriously, get an ad-blocker. Many streaming platforms tried to compete with the giant and failed. Big win for Google.
Facebook and Instagram/WhatsApp
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) comes in at a close second. It bought Instagram pre-IPO in 2012. It came with mixed reviews. Who would’ve thought that sharing and viewing pictures and videos would consume so much time in 2022?
It was a perfect solution to capture a young audience and invest in future generations repeating the process. Adding WhatsApp was also genius. If you can’t beat them, buy them.
Those who don’t have Facebook Messenger, most likely use WhatsApp. However, Facebook is finally losing users. This forced them to rebrand as a Meta(verse) platform. Undoubtedly, more acquisitions are to come.
Elon Musk and Twitter
Elon Musk isn’t exactly a tech company. However, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) might be considered, in a different sense. In any case, Musk bought Twitter to change its approach to social media. He wants to promote free speech, remove bots and attack misinformation.
I doubt Twitter will be integrated into a Tesla by default or on a Space X ship. However, it is an interesting move by a very vocal personality. It can open doors for other billionaires to buy public companies at a premium to satisfy their wants.
Amazon and Twitch
To round up this section, let’s talk about Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). In 2014, the e-commerce and cloud giant bought the videogame streaming platform Twitch.
Other than to put its hands on its users’ data, it is still unclear why Amazon bought them. The company still doesn’t have a clear video game or streaming strategy in place.
Speaking of video games, Discord was a popular target by Microsoft and other tech giants. However, it seems as if they are going in the IPO direction.
Another popular social media platform is Reddit. It has been around for a long time and it is unlikely to go public. However, an eventual acquisition isn’t off the table.
LinkedIn Stock and Other Social Media Platforms Conclusion
In conclusion, LinkedIn isn’t a public company anymore. It was acquired by Microsoft back in 2016. This isn’t the only social media acquisition by a tech company of its kind. Google did the same with YouTube, Facebook with WhatsApp and Instagram and Amazon with Twitch, just to name a few.
Today, big tech firms are much more scrutinized. It is much more difficult to get new deals approved. The current administration is trying to limit its reach. Thankfully, many private companies exist in many social media fields.
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