In its continued effort to become more than just a resume-posting site, LinkedIn is reported to be in the process of buying Pulse, which makes a popular, free mobile news reader.
The purchase price is reportedly between US$ 50 and 100 million, and the deal is said to be near its closing. Pulse currently has 20 million users reading over 10 million articles daily from a wide range of publications, including Sports Illustrated, TMZ and BBC News, as well as blogs, social networks and newspapers. Pulse is available via the Web, as well as on iOS and Android devices.
Cited by Steve Jobs
Pulse is regularly compared with other content aggregators that recommend reading choices based on your interests, such as Flipboard or Circa. The key focus of the company is the creation of an ad hoc, personalized magazine, accompanied by ads. The company recently launched a Highlights feature that shows stories your Facebook friends have shared, and there’s integration with Instagram, Flickr, YouTube and Tumblr.
Pulse got a big shot of publicity in 2010 when the startup was cited by name at a developers conference by the late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs, who praised its quality.
Mining the Interest Graph
LinkedIn has started using content as a way to connect the interests of its nearly 200 million members, a so-called interest graph. Dozens of leaders in various fields, such a Virgin founder Richard Branson, author Tony Robbins and even President Obama, have recently been posting original items on LinkedIn in a feature called Influencers, and members can follow an Influencer’s posts. A news feed called LinkedIn Today shows stories shared by your LinkedIn contacts.
If it is successful in acquiring Pulse, LinkedIn will add to its content holdings and further move the company away from being only a networking site for professionals, toward becoming a media company that helps connected professionals in various ways. One possible example: see how you, a LinkedIn member, are connected to someone mentioned in an article you’re reading. Or see what your contacts on the site are reading.