My online penpal Allen Stern passes along the rumor that Fox Interactive Media is in discussions to buy the business networking behomoth LinkedIn. Bravo – I say. Linkedin would certainly offer a nice counter weight to the antics displayed within most MySpace profiles. And if identities online stay splintered (personal dairy on MySpace, professional relationships on LinkedIn) then it’s a really, really smart play by FIM.
And before anyone pooh-poohs LinkedIn in comparison the hotness of Facebook – Facebook still has a long way to go in the professional world. Every business contact I make these days is active on LinkedIn. Well less then half of those same contacts are currently using Facebook. Facebook’s catching up but it has a long way to go.
But I wonder why Yahoo and Microsoft aren’t rumored to be in on the talks as well. LinkedIn could be a valuable asset to each’s desires to remain relevant in the world of the social graph. And given LinkedIn’s relatively strong subscription base of recruiters and sales professionals it’s not a flight of financial fancy necessarily.
Perhaps Yahoo is content flailing along with the largely irrelevant Yahoo 360 and doesn’t really need one of the top 10 most successful social networks to date. Maybe Microsoft doesn’t want to own the properties but just monetize them.
Time will tell.