Potential Integration of Microsoft Products in LinkedIn
After gambling on Skype in 2011 ($8.5b) and Nokia in 2013 ($7.9b), Microsoft is rolling big with its recently announced $26.2 billion dollar purchase of LinkedIn—but enough about numbers. Anyone who has used LinkedIn has noticed the growing amount of clutter over the years. What started out as a platform for job seekers, LinkedIn (for better or worse) added features to transform itself into a social network. Many users dislike LinkedIn’s current UI, busy layout, and difficult user interactions. Now that Microsoft is here, we can all hope for a saving grace. Here’s a few of our wishes that we’d love to see Microsoft implement over the coming months:
1. Create workgroups for LinkedIn.
Microsoft could make LinkedIn a highly useful tool for communication within businesses. Workgroups would be company created groups where users are invited by the company to join. Adding features to workgroups like a chat room and group news feed would allow companies to post important messages for employees to read. Microsoft could also add employee calendars, searchable employee contact information, and task and workload management, turning LinkedIn into an employee management tool. There is an abundance of room for additional features that could open up a whole new gateway to work collaboration.
2. Integrate LinkedIn with Microsoft Office
With workgroups in mind, Microsoft could learn a thing or two from Google. Imagine how useful it would be if you could work on documents and share them with the people you are linked to. While Google already does this, Microsoft could take this a step further by turning LinkedIn into a business portal where users can store and collaborate on all their documents. Users would log into their LinkedIn accounts, go to their workgroup, and enter into an integrated Microsoft Office extension within the website, where they can work, edit, and share files together.
3. Revive Skype
It’s alive, it’s alive, It’s ALIVE!!! With Skype fading further away every year, Microsoft could take this opportunity to resurrect this once highly potential communication platform. Think of how convenient it would be to have the ability to call coworkers with the click of a button as you’re working on a project together. A Skype call button within a Microsoft Office document could enter users into a group chat with everyone who is currently viewing. Skype call buttons could also be added to user profiles within their business’ workgroup. Users could also have the option to add a call button to their personal profiles, which would be useful for those looking for jobs. LinkedIn could even add voicemail for users.
The Waiting Game
At the beginning of the year LinkedIn stock took a $10 billion dollar hit, cutting the company’s value in half due to the lack of growth. It was actually classified as “rapid deceleration,” which raises a red flag and makes Microsoft’s investment a true gamble. We can safely assume because of this that Microsoft will be investing and implementing new features into LinkedIn. Only time will tell if Microsoft can turn LinkedIn around.