Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO): LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD)’s Latest Surprising Strategy

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) has been throwing some unexpected punches lately. In November, the company took a page out of Twitter’s social media handbook and unveiled the option to follow corporate celebrities. Now, as the business passes the 200-million-user mark, a new LinkedIn report is buzzing around the internet and it’s a little closer to, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) style than Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).

According to reports, LinkedIn is in talks to buy out Pulse, a mobile news reader application, for between $50 million and $100 million. What’s the motive behind this new move, and could it help LinkedIn become an even more powerful investment?

Explaining the Pulse?
So why is LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) choosing now to try taking Pulse? As it happens, the timing behind the possible buyout has less to do with LinkedIn’s intentions than that of the startup. The news reader has been in talks with several other high-profile tech companies, including Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which previously worked with Pulse to build a mobile web app, and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).

These two companies might be huge names in the tech world, but right now LinkedIn is touting more power in the realm of social media content, which still has yet to reach its peak in popularity. Pulse has recently broadened its horizons into the realm of social and video feeds, and LinkedIn’s uniquely professional experience could be the perfect platform for the startup’s news bites.

Expanding the brand
LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) isn’t just jumping on Pulse because it’s the popular thing to do. The company has worked hard to expand its “professional Facebook” identity beyond just that of helping its users land jobs. As CEO Jeff Weiner has stated, the company wants to “put the right business intelligence in front of the right member at the right time.” For LinkedIn users who are writers or journalists, Pulse could transform their news feed into a well of potential stories, and for non-writer users, it’s a great way to stay informed without leaving LinkedIn’s facilities.

How it measures up
The recent financial statistics for LinkedIn have been staggeringly impressive, and it is clear that it is riding the top of a massively popular social media wave. In 2012, its annual revenue jumped 86%. As far as cash flow is concerned, LinkedIn brought in $96 million last year, after bringing in an additional $450 million during the previous year. With this kind of money in the company’s coffers, a $50 million-$100 million-sized buyout is doable and, hopefully, with Pulse’s popularity, profitable.

The verdict
Ultimately, any merger between LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) and Pulse is speculative at the moment. However, after looking into LinkedIn’s financials and the intentions of both companies, it’s clear that LinkedIn can afford the deal, and is hungry to expand itself. Pulse, meanwhile, is going strong at 20 million users, but a deal with one of these companies could be enough to put it firmly on the map. If this merger works out, it could be a promising step for both a social media titan and a relative newcomer.

The article LinkedIn’s Latest Surprising Strategy originally appeared on

Fool contributor Caroline Bennett has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of LinkedIn. It also owns shares of Microsoft.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.