LinkedIn is even closer to being a one-stop professional social network.
The company’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, announced this week that LinkedIn will buy lynda.com, a subscription-based software training website, for $ 1.5 billion.
It’s LinkedIn’s biggest acquisition to date, and though the social media platform hasn’t announced how members will pay for the service, the skill-based video library joins LinkedIn’s job search, SlideShare and additional features that enable members to network with other professionals, find employment opportunities and enhance skills in their industries.
Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill. Or doing a search on SlideShare to learn about integrated marketing and then to be prompted with a lynda.com course on the same subject.
Weiner explained the match between LinkedIn and lynda.com in a blog post:
LinkedIn’s fundamental value proposition is connecting people to opportunity. We’ve made significant progress in this area; nearly 350 million members can use LinkedIn to find a job, build a business, and be more successful in their careers. However, matching talent and opportunity is a simplified take on the equation. Without access to education and the ability to acquire skills, many of these opportunities will remain far out of reach for most people.
With today’s announcement that LinkedIn intends to acquire lynda.com, LinkedIn has taken a material step forward toward connecting these dots.
Lynda Weinman, founder of lynda.com, said in a blog post both she and Weiner “believe that the skills gap is one of the leading social issues of our time.”
“Technology changes fast and people need to keep their skills up to date,” Weinman said.
Twitter refines searches; YouTube courts advertisers
Clearly, LinkedIn is trying to bolster its reputation as the go-to place for job seekers, but it’s not the only social media platform making changes to attract users.
Twitter is enhancing its search filtering options, enabling users to filter searches by live results, nearby accounts and tweets from people one follows. New features also include the ability to save and embed search results.
The changes are being rolled out to Twitter users, and Marketing Land reports the features should make Twitter a better search tool. The plan is to encourage people to use the social media platform as such.
YouTube is taking steps to enhance its offerings to advertisers. According to Marketing Land, YouTube cards—introduced for its videos in March—will soon afford advertisers a way to promote other videos or playlists and later on will offer links to advertisers’ websites.
The moves are a way to increase interaction with ads, especially after YouTube viewers skip an advertisement that runs before a video. The social media platform is honing the way it counts clicks, meaning marketers will pay only when users click on a call-to-action card or banner advertisement.
Retaining those eyeballs
What do these changes mean for communications professionals?
Expect continued improvements from social media platforms as they build or acquire features that entice users to spend more time on the platform.
For social media websites, the goal is to have people choose to spend their time on a particular network, and not on a competitor’s site. Advertising options (along with prices) will grow for those networks that successfully capture audience’s attention.
For users, it means pay-to-play campaigns and posts are here to stay. However, that should mean better user experiences, lessening the monetary sting.