LinkedIn Buys Harvard-Born Personal News Service

Career-focused social network LinkedIn announced it had bought Newsle Monday.
Career-focused social network LinkedIn announced it had bought Newsle Monday. –Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

LinkedIn has acquired a Boston-born but San Francisco-based service that provides users with news about members of their professional network.

Newsle was launched in 2011 by two Harvard undergraduates. As Harvard tech entrepreneurs sometimes do, they dropped out and moved out west in 2012.

The service collects Internet news and blog posts that mention its users’ connections on social media, and then deliver those stories to users via email. Many users use this as a way to keep up on their industries, which on its face would make it a good fit for LinkedIn, seeing how it’s a social network that is more focused on people’s professional, rather than private, lives.


LinkedIn said as much in announcing the acquisition:

“LinkedIn and Newsle share a common goal: We both want to provide professional insights that make you better at what you do. 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.’’

In the past year or so, LinkedIn has been doubling down on content, making business news and information a central part of its user experience—using both through content published on LinkedIn, and content from other parts of the web.

LinkedIn and Newsle said that the service will continue to operate as a standalone product for Newsle’s 2 million users, but will also be integrated with LinkedIn’s broader services.

As The New York Times points out, LinkedIn—compared to, say, Facebook—has been relatively quiet on the M&A front. LinkedIn has arguably been the most successful social network, however, consistently boasting strong revenues and beating Wall Street earning expectations. The company closed trading today with stock worth $159.70 per share.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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