LinkedIn was originally born, in 2002, as a media for individuals to produce their curriculum vitae in an electronic format, however, the business model quickly evolved and fast became the place to be for online professional networking.
There have been many elements to LinkedIn over the years which have supported growing your professional network, in particular and specifically with regards to showing / sharing your expertise with others. One of the greatest functions for doing this was LinkedIn answers, however, this was subsequently decommissioned and replaced with the current LinkedIn groups. And more recently the addition of LinkedIn pulse for creating and sharing more in depth articles.
So, will LinkedIn continue to evolve and stay true to its overall goal of connecting individuals and businesses within a professional network, with the supporting functions and tools. Or will Microsoft, stilt the innovation of LinkedIn and focus on bringing inline with Office 365 and more as a supporting toolset.
For me, it is key that LinkedIn is allowed to continue to develop more innovative functions to continue to support this vast professional network with regards to growth. It should also continue to support both free and paid plans, which are completely independent of Microsofts ecosystem. It would not be good for this network, should Microsoft look to include as part of an Office 365 system.
Time will tell as to whether first the Linkedin acquisition gets approved by the EU and indeed as to whether LinkedIn remains independent or is brought in to Microsoft’s ecosystem.